Make Three Wishes

Hi all,

It’s that time of the year again. Time to write a post to reflect on my journey so far.

Obviously, a lot of things have happened since I celebrated my birthday last year. It feels like it was just yesterday that I wrote this “my 10220th day on earth is coming”.

Birthday is a time to celebrate, relax and reminisce. For this post, I’m going to put milestone markings in each month that has passed, the five elements that I always hold dear to my heart;

health, home, love, dreams, friendships

so here we go,

Sep 2014 [dreams]

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Blew these candles on the day itself. It’s a yummy durian cake from my dear sister and her boyfriend. It’s also the beginning of a year-long work and play, building up a hectic but enjoyable schedule of working, teaching, volleyball games, date nights, movie nights and everything else in between. It was the start of a slow transformation and meaningful baby steps towards a better work & life balance.

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Oct – Nov 2014 [health  & dreams]

These 2 months were filled with teaching schedule and volleyball games. Beside the classroom teaching job for Indonesian language, I started accepting some private tuition jobs teaching English to Primary school kids living near my place.

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Dec 2014 [home & friendships]

Organized and attended several gatherings with friends and colleagues every week. They were fun and dine activities. At the end of the month, I flew back home and celebrated the new year surrounded by my beloved parents and siblings.

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Jan 2015 [home & health]

Time to face the  real deal together as a family, we burnt a hole in our pockets but it was for the greater good. Health is always number 1 in my book. Every year, I’d wish for the health of all my family members and loved ones (friends and romantic partner), and for them to be protected from any harm, be safe and  sound wherever they are.

Feb 2015 [home & love & friendships]

It was the peak of uncertain moment in my love life. We were not together yet, I’ve almost given up any hope of ever being together.  It’s been almost a year of dating with no next-level commitment. The situation inspired me to write this post and also made the decision to join my friend on her trip this September.

After an additional confusion on Valentine’s day, I went home for the annual CNY celebration, had fun, met old friends and forgot about it for a while. Several girls’ talks & heart-to-heart later, I returned to SG and determined to (somehow) solve this uncertainty. I was afraid of rejection but still hopeful.

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Mar – Apr 2015 [love]

One fateful night after a usual movie date night, I decided to throw a “bait” at him and he caught it *and subsequently ate ‘it’. Hooray!*. We started talking about us, instead of some other random things. Several questions and phone calls in the next few days, we were finally together as a couple. I still remember that awkward conversation while slurping our noodles. It was one of my fondest memories from our date nights.

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May 2015 [home & love]

We were going steady and got better at discussing the relationship whenever it’s needed. Treating each other with respect, showing our love in various ways (we have the same love language *yay*), being honest to each other and committed to this relationship despite our busy schedules. It’s that kind of relationship that I described in “Respect, Love, Loyalty, Commitment”.

Two months on, inspiration came and I wrote this post,

In between those dates and my busy schedule, you were always around. Hike or bike on Sunday afternoons, little gifts every time we met or after your trips abroad, movie nights spent watching animations, had fun and laugh together on dates, just you and me. There were a lot of those small things that were impossible to ignore. I obviously noticed how you treated me differently. There were “something” more than we care to admit. We were probably afraid of being “friend-zoned” by each other. In those months, we’d talk about anything under the sky, except about love and relationship, EXCEPT about us. Anyway, long story short, you and I have finally overcome that barrier. (l5t, 15 May 2015, Connecting the Dots)

In between all that new-love-fluttering-heart syndrome, I got the notification to move out from my then-room. I searched for new rooms on the web, arranged some viewings and signed a tenancy agreement within 3 days. I was super-efficient. My parents were also in town at the end of May, so I was rushing to close a deal immediately. It was a fun and busy month.

Jun 2015 [home & love & health]

Moved to new place with the help of my sister and the boyfriends. Luckily, my new place was just a few blocks away. Moving my stuff and re-arranging them were a lot easier than expected. Watched some volleyball matches during SEA Games and cycled together with friends.

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Jul – Aug 2015 [home, love, dreams, friendships]

Working and teaching during weekdays; singing, dining and relaxing during weekends. Life went back to its normal pace, no hustle and bustle of finding new place or the crazy jitters of new love *though I believe in giving some surprises once in a while to spice things up* There were plenty of holidays in these two months and I spent my time dipping in and out of holiday and/or working mood; preparing for the long-awaited trip in September versus. re-arranging my teaching schedule for the rest of the year.

Anyway, as I typed this I looked back at what I wrote before and found the same wisdom as before, so I quote,

Life is too short to be spent on worries and regrets and forever going with the flow with no specific purpose in life. I believe in finding my purpose, making plans, executing them and then I’ll go with the flow after I’ve done my part. We should always strive to be a better person and choose what’s best for ourselves and our loved ones. For me, I want to live healthily and happily doing whatever I want in life with integrity. (l5t, 13 Aug 2014)

Now the difference is, I get to share my life with that special someone.

Most importantly, I know that I want to have this kind of relationship one day, with respect, love, loyalty, commitment; and put my heart on the sleeve more frequently, instead of hiding behind a huge wall. When I’ve chosen to be in a committed relationship, I’ll do the same as the 3 points above: be curious about my life (and his life too), re-arrange my priority and be a good person. Hopefully, we could also grow better as a person, walk towards a better future together, hand-in-hand (l5t, 11 Feb 2015, Is what I want the same as what I need?)

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As cliché as it might sound, I just have these simple wishes on my coming birthday:

Birthday wishes (H-5)

1. Stay healthy and away from danger/harm (also applicable to my family, lover & friends)

2. Be happy (refer here: connect the dots and here: prevent boredom)

3. Live life to the fullest (refer here: do what you love)

 

Cheers,

Sien

*Babe, the first time posting our ‘wefie’ publicly. It looks awesome:)
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My 10220th Day on Earth is Coming

It’s been an AWESOME and EVENTFUL year for me. Right around this time of the year, I’ll usually have an annual self-reflection. I’m looking back on my amazing year so far and planning for a better one ahead. My birthday is coming. 27 going on 28. And I feel that I have accomplished so much this year. It’s now the time to sit back, relax, enjoy the routine, define my goals, plan for the next baby steps and prepare for a-whole-month celebration in September!! ^_^

I’ve been keeping a daily log of my activities and expenses since 2010. So if I ever need to look back on what I did this time last year or figure out what my weekend activities were, I’ll just retrieve the information in my wonderful excel file (I talked about it here).

While referring to the file, let’s reminisce the moments month by month….

Sep 2013

Started my 27th with a short getaway to Bintan with my younger brother and sister. Had a belated birthday dinner and BBQ with close friends.

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Oct 2013

Prepared for CELTA (here’s how I decided to take CELTA) and kicked start my blogging journey again (the 1st post here).

Nov 2013

One of the best moments in my life (summary of my CELTA experience here). After this whole experience, there’s one thing that I needed so badly. That is the extra COURAGE to make a choice, move forward and never look back. I was still in a limbo at this point of time and even until today (9 months later), I’m still testing the waters. Don’t have the courage to let go of my current status quo yet. What should I do?

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Dec 2013

After a month away, I returned home to endless orthodontist appointments, wisdom teeth surgery & extraction to prepare for my braces journey. I talked about it extensively here. Beauty is still in the eyes of the beholder.

Jan 2014

The new year means new hair color, new accessories on my teeth, new journey to get new part-time gig. I was asked to deliver a toast at my close friend’s wedding and was asked to become a bridesmaid in my best friend’s wedding this coming September.

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Feb 2014

Attended 2 weddings in a week, was slowly getting used to my new ritual of brushing my teeth after every meal and started taking pictures of my teeth every Tuesday just to monitor the progress. I was doing my usual hiking and cycling activities every other weekend in this month.

Mar 2014

Started the 1-month training for part-time and made a huge financial commitment together as a family. Two major financial commitments this year will certainly tie me down until around Dec 2015 and Sept 2016. I wish it could be shorter than that, especially for my braces. Another 1 year to go? Hopefully? I know it’s for the best. Perseverance is the key. Meanwhile, continue to take care of my health and physical fitness while saving up the $ for short getaways and adventure trips.

Apr 2014

Prepared for my ultimate adventure trip to Lombok at the end of April: hiking Mount Rinjani and diving at Gili Islands (full summary of this travel log can be found here). I was climbing the staircase at my workplace everyday for 1 month (equivalent to 10 floors of an HDB flat) in addition to my hiking routes at Macritchie Reservoir during the weekends. It was a last-minute kind of preparation. Luckily, I survived the grueling climb to the mountain top.

May 2014

End of adventure trip, eventually conquered Mount Rinjani and went scuba diving for the first time in my life. Awesome experiences in a short 8D7N trip. After that, my part-time officially started and I only have free me-time for 2 weeknights. Weekends are usually for other activities (how NOT to become a boring person). Monday, Wednesday and Thursday were for my part-time. It’s totally fun and a good way for me to learn new things while doing what I like: languages, analyzing and dissecting the language. Teaching a language really reminds me of how much I love learning foreign languages. It’s challenging my over-active brain.

Jun 2014

My full-time and part-time are on-going. Learning and having fun at the same time. Attended a friend’s beautiful wedding in Bandung (a short getaway with my girlfriends), back to volleyball and cycling after a 2-month hiatus.

Jul 2014

The 6th month of my braces journey (21 July), parents visit for my sister’s convocation and another visit from a distant friend. Reached new milestones and had so much fun. I started following the Beginner’s workout calendar in Blogilates and eating more regular healthy home-cooked meals (especially breakfast & dinner).  For the past 3 months, I was so busy living my life that I hardly had the time to sit down and write a blog post. Is that good or bad? Whenever my mind goes for an overdrive, I can’t resist the urge to write anyway (like what I’m doing now)…so I guess it’s fine to have writer’s block once in a while.

July was also an eventful month for my home country, Indonesia. Presidential election month and we’ve voted for the first non-related-to-Soeharto-and-his-gang President-elect, Mr Jokowi. My fb wall feed was filled with the election news and hot debates on politics. Five years ago, I didn’t care. This year, I’ve exercised my right to vote and hoping for a better Indonesia in the next five years. I’m doing my small part for the country now, serving as a part-time Bahasa Indonesia teacher to all the foreigners who want to learn. Getting the hang of it and having fun in the classroom. I’ll slowly move on to teaching English in a classroom one day (still thinking of a way to improve my skill and put it to practice).

Aug 2014

Off to Penang for another short getaway (probably the last one for this year. But I might have a short family getaway at the end of this year! Brother is coming to TOWN!! Yaaaay^__^) and also here I am, offloading my mind from this ridiculous amount of ideas and thoughts to this blog post. I’ve got this sudden burst of ideas this morning and just decided to write them all as my self-reflection post. How lovely it feels looking back on what I’ve done this year. Just needed an assurance from myself that I’ve done my best in life so far.

 

Ironically, on my 10220th day on earth, I’ve got no plan yet. It’s probably going to be just another weekday. Fortunately, I’ve got plans for the rest of the year up my sleeve and they’re currently brewing excitedly inside my restless mind.

In summary, LIFE IS TOO SHORT to be spent on worries and regrets and forever going with the flow with no specific purpose in life. I believe in finding my purpose, making plans, executing them and THEN I’ll go with the flow after I’ve done my part. We should always strive to be a better person and choose what’s best for ourselves and our loved ones. For me, I want to live healthily and happily doing whatever I want in life with integrity.

Birthday wishes (H-20):

1) Stay healthy and fit (applicable to myself, my family members and my close friends).

2) Be happier with where I am in life: career, finance and personal development. Never stop learning and trying new stuff.

3) When I’m happy and ready to open my heart, I wish that I could be blessed with a best-friend and lover who will accept me for who I am and is willing to let me into his life. Sharing dreams, goals and a bright future together. As of now, I’m happy being single.  Do refer to my previous thoughts on love and marriage.

After a long-winded flashback, let’s go back to living the real life!

Ciao!! ^___^

Bisous,

Sien

[SHARING OTHERS’ POST] Disconnect to be more connected and mindful

Disconnect to Get More Connected: Lessons from a Phone-Free Month

By Jessica Wretlind

1. I would give myself time to get lost, and enjoyed taking notice of my perhaps wayward route.

2. My friends were always there to meet me at the time we’d planned in advance.

3. I didn’t update Instagram nor Facebook for a month.

4. I started being present at events in the true sense of the word.

5. I became more spontaneous.

6. I became unreachable at times.

7. I became acutely aware when my company was dividing his/her attention between their phone and me, and I hated it.

8. I realized I wasn’t really staying in touch.

 

Are You Missing Out on Life While Checking Your Smartphone?

By Alex Busson

Question 1: What’s the emotion behind this decision?

Question 2: What value do I place on this present moment?

Question 3: Can my smartphone really add value to the present moment?