Hello beautiful Sunday night (though at the time of writing, it is already Monday morning but somehow as long as I don’t fall asleep, the weekend wouldn’t have ended for me). A couple of days ago, my friend mentioned that he couldn’t believe we are in April already as it meant that we are done with a quarter of the year and in a blink of an eye it would be Christmas already. Well, perhaps the only thing in life that constantly moves ahead (and can’t be held back) is time.
Attended a mini sharing session over the weekend where I met up with strangers (from a group chat online), who were starting to plan for their New Zealand working holiday journey later this year. Looking through my photos, it does feel pretty shocking to realise that I was talking about my experiences from 3 years ago. The memories still feel very raw and fresh in my head despite it being quite long ago. It was a rather nostalgic session as the concerns and questions that were raised were similar to my own worries back in time. I mentioned some of these learnings a couple of times and I thought it would be nice to share them again as the learnings/realisation can go beyond such a working holiday experience.
- Your plans will never ever catch up with the changes. This is a translation of a Chinese saying 计划永远赶不上变化 ji hua young yuan gan bu shang bian hua. Before we embark on a new journey, many of us will have plans and things that we hope to do or achieve when we are there. However, the reality (at least from most alumni) is that pretty much nothing ever goes according to plan (no matter how thorough your planning is). I planned to stay for 6 months but ended up staying for 9 months. I know of a couple of friends who went there two years ago and are still in New Zealand as a result of covid (because their work visa keeps getting extended). Prior to my trip, I didn’t plan to work in physically intensive jobs. I didn’t plan to buy a faulty car that broke down 30-mins from home on a Sunday night. I didn’t plan to stay in central Otago for 4 full months (almost half my trip) and I didn’t plan to have bad landlords in Auckland. On hindsight, I can say that every hiccup perhaps happens for a reason and that it makes me more resilient and flexible in all my other aspects of life too.
- If there’s something you want to do or try, go for it. It is better to do something and regret trying than to spend your whole life wondering about the ‘what ifs’ of how things would end up differently if you tried/did something. Looking back, it wasn’t an easy decision to quit my job and disrupt my career life and now that I’ve been there and done that, many people applaud me (or perhaps are jealous) for having the courage to take on such a leap of faith into the unknown. If you find yourself struggling, it is perfectly normal. I recall writing a blog post about all that anxiety and fears I had back then and wow it is so epic because in that blog post I actually had a note to my future self within that post (This is gonna be an important post and I foresee myself reading this multiple times when I’m there or in the future.), knowing that indeed I will read it again.
~~ >> Fast forward to 2 weeks later because I struggle to concentrate on blogging these days. There are simply too many distractions every day. Apart from my usual distraction online from twitter and all the other social media, I’ve also been going out a lot more regularly. In Singapore, they lifted the 10-people gathering limit which means that soon, it will be the first time I’ll be attending my extra-large family gatherings. In addition, wearing masks outdoors will no longer be compulsory and this also means that companies no longer need to enforce maintaining a certain % limit in office. A couple of my friends have been instructed to return to office 100% while for me, I’m still getting the 50% benefit as our office has transformed to co-sharing space which means that there isn’t enough seats catered for everyone to be in office at the same time. I prefer it this way even though it means bringing my laptop with me to and from work every day.
Anyway, today is day one of a rare four-day long weekend. This is the first time in 3 years that we are given somewhat freedom to mingle with different groups of people (we used to have restrictions to limit to max 2 social gatherings a day) but somehow I’m spending quite a bit of me-time at home. In between as I’m typing this, I’ve been going in and out of the kitchen to roll and proof my bread roll. I usually go for easy and fuss-free bakes but on days like these where I’m kind of just passing time, I’ll choose an annoying recipe which requires multiple rounds of proofing and waiting.
25 months of living with covid, are we finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel? Karaoke has resumed (went once this week), nightlife has resumed and drinking alcohol after 10:30pm is no longer an issue. I think everything has pretty much normalised for me except for the mask-wearing mandate in indoor settings. Travel has also opened up significantly with the exception of Taiwan, Hong Kong, China and Japan. You should be able to visit most countries with adequate testings (either PCR/ART or none) plus our airport has announced that it has reached about 33% of pre-covid capacity. As of now, only 2 of 4 of our terminals are currently in operation and hopefully not for long, we are able to return back to our original travel volume and perhaps continue with the opening of our 5th terminal?
Looking back.. what has changed in your life for the past 25 months? For me, the changes are pretty inconspicuous as I don’t have any life status updates and I’ve been doing pretty much the same standard few things day in day out. If there’s anything worth mentioning I guess I’ve become more conscious of my emotions, stress level (if any) and placing more focus on myself as compared to before. I guess this happened because covid gave us a lot of space to be in solitude and I spend a lot of time running thoughts through my mind. Remember this random course I did back then and I wrote a blog post on all the learnings which I predicted that I would only be able to understand those learnings sometime down the road? As the days goes by, I find myself slowly unpacking those learnings and finally coming with terms on how it did help to benefit my life, my chain of thoughts and hopefully as a sharing to other people that are stuck in a slum.
Oh and one really random thing is that I did the personality test the other day and my result was ENTP (The visionary). Previously in Aug 2020, my result was ESTP-A (Assertive Entrepreneur). So how did I change from being an S (Observant) to an N (Intuitive). The other thing I’m puzzled about is that I sometimes assume that I’m an introvert despite being comfortable in large crowded settings but my test results always reflect that I’m an extrovert despite hating being the centre of attraction in all settings. Sometimes I still there’s still a huge disconnect between who I think I am vs who I really am or who I want to be. Not sure if these three will ever align in future but at least I am aware of the disconnect.
(Random thoughts) Did anyone watch Apple TV’s first ever K-drama pachinko? I felt it ended so abruptly yesterday that I’m thinking deeply on whether it was even worth the hype. I read the book and if it was a typical K-drama remake, the drama is likely to closely follow the book but Apple TV’s version only loosely followed the original book, and added a lot of new elements which didn’t feel familiar to me at all. I felt the timeline jump was too consuming (remember The King, Eternal Monarch the other Lee Minho drama?) and perhaps I lack the intellectual capacity to appreciate arthouse-style filming.
I’m currently watching Lee Jun Ki’s drama – Again my life. Really like the plot and storyline and once again I think he is lucky to get really good scripts where he is able to shine in his acting. Apart from that, I’m watching Green Mother’s club which sometimes gives me a Sky Castle and Penthouse vibe but I guess it is not doing that well in comparison. I’m not sure if you have experienced the feeling of feeling fatigue from watching too much drama. Some days, I end up on YouTube instead and watch documentaries or random info videos. There was a period when I got hooked on some YouTuber exploring abandoned places. Oh wells, I seem to be having excessive screen time lately.. Is this of concern? Now that I look back, I think I haven’t read in a while. Maybe it is time I start reading again.
May is a beautiful month and may good things only happen to you 🙂
I’m starting to understand/accept the idea that compliments and blessings are free. If it doesn’t take too much of an effort, do/say something kind and happy to spread the positive vibes!