Tag Archives: freewriting

The Sunshine Blogger Award

There’s this award going around WordPress called “Sunshine Blogger Award.” I did a quick search on Google and didn’t really find information on who, where, why, or how this got started (either that or I just didn’t search hard enough! If you know something, please enlighten me). Images turned up various designs and interpretations of the award, probably just independently designed by the nominated bloggers who posted about it. Anyhoo, the Sunshine Blogger Award sounds like a good thing. Bloggers nominate other bloggers famous or not—gives them a sense of recognition, somewhat boosts their blog’s morale.

So thanks to my newfound virtual friend, Francesca of A Female Flâneur, for thinking of me for this award. I don’t usually do this kind of things, but I didn’t want to turn you down (your questions are actually quite interesting!) and I’m feeling kind of bored and upset (I just got my iPod touch, which was basically like my virtual diary, stolen ☹), so this is a good way to divert my mind.

Here goes!

1. What’s your dream holiday destination and why?

Well, it should be the whole planet Earth. You know, there are a lot of great things about this world that it’s just hard to choose only one dream destination. But right now, Korea first comes to mind—it’s a dream destination that’s soon going to turn into a reality. 😉

2. What book would you recommend for summer reading?

Moby Dick. It’s what I’m currently reading! The movie In the Heart of the Sea kind of prompted me to read this classic. It’s a good read when you’re stuck at home and wishing for some sea adventure.

3. What outfit or accessory makes you feel fabulous?

Just high waist jeans and sneakers. However, currently, I’m starting to get obsessed with wire rings. They look pretty and funky!

4. On a typical Sunday morning, what would you be doing?

Slouching in bed, watching Netflix. Or spending time at a coffee shop. ❤

5. If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Spaghetti!!! And in red meaty sauce only.

6. Do you have any role models? If so, who are they?

Oh gosh, it’s hard to think of anyone specific. I get bits of inspiration from different kinds of people—Barrack Obama and his diplomacy, charm, and great public speaking, Stephen King and his big-screen-worthy novels, Amelia Earhart and her acting upon her dream of seeing the world, the late Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago of the Philippines and her brilliance and bravery.

These are just the people I can think of right now, but I’m sure there are a lot more people who have inspired me to pursue what I am pursuing now.

7. What is something on your bucket list?

To do something height-defying. I have an awful fear of heights, and I want to do something that would challenge that. I don’t want this fear to limit me. People seem to have a lot of fun doing skydiving or bungee jumping, and if I had the chance to do these things, I would want to (although just the thought of it makes my legs tingle right now!)

8. Tea or coffee?

Definitely coffee. I love bubble tea too, though!

9. What is the best compliment you’ve ever received?

That I am intimidating. It doesn’t really sound like a compliment, does it? I don’t always get that kind of comment about me because I feel that I am always the one feeling intimidated by other people. So to hear that someone thinks I  have a strong personality which they find intimidating was rather interesting.

10. If there was one change you would like to see in the world, what would it be?

The first that came to mind is plastics. We have a huge problem now on plastic waste that many people, quite surprisingly, are not aware of. But then, I also thought of animal cruelty, climate change, racism, and ridiculous national leaders.

If there was one change I would like to see in the world, it is a change in people’s minds—that people would start being rational and actually care about the world.

11. Do you have a favourite fairy-tale? If so, what is it?

I like Puss in Boots and Beauty and the Beast just because I enjoyed the films!


 

I was honestly not sure who to nominate at first as it’s been a while since I last read entries from the blogs I follow. These people might be surprised to hear from me but here are my nominees! These are people I just randomly connected with in the past because I found something interesting in their blogs. We don’t know each other personally, but I do find their blogs worthy of a read.

Happiness Between Tails by da-AL

Pensive Palindrome

Curlygirlabroad

(Almost) Unsalvageable

Fill and Feel

Here are my 11 questions:

1. Books or e-books?
2. Do you ever experience writer’s block? If so, how do you overcome it?
3. What place/town in your country would you recommend to travel?
4. Do you go to coffee shops? If so, which one is your favorite?
5. What’s your typical breakfast?
6. What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done for love?
7. Do you believe in destiny?
8. What is your favorite planet besides Earth and why?
9. Words or pictures?
10. If you had superpowers, what would it be?
11. What was your last dream about?

Here are the rules:

1. Thank the person who nominated you and link to their blog.

2. Answer the 11 questions sent by the person who nominated you.

3. Nominate your favorite bloggers to receive the award, and write 11 questions for them.

4. List the rules and display the award logo on your post and blog.

I look forward to reading your answers to my questions! ❤

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Fighting Fear with Fear: I’m Finally in My Dream Job But—

 

I’m starting work in yet another company—my Nth employer in my lifetime. But this time it’s different. I am finally in my dream line of work.

It’s not easy. I’m happy—but it’s not easy. I’m having mixed emotions. But mostly anxiousness. Leaving an old job –the work you’d been comfortable with, the people you’d been close with, the place that had become your comfort zone—and then venturing out into the unknown is quite stressful. I’m setting out for a new working environment with unknown culture and personalities.

Sometimes, I wonder if I had made the right choice.

Sometimes, I wonder if I had made the right choice. Was it right to leave my comfort zone and stress out again on trying to adjust, learn and fit in? I had stayed in my last job for more than a year—the longest I’ve ever stayed in one in my entire millennial life. The reason I lasted in this job wasn’t because it was great and fulfilling but because it was so convenient and conflictless. Would it have been right to stay in this job? Would it have been right if I had stayed in a kind of job that gave me a sense of ease but not of achievement? I loved the people I worked with, but was it enough for me to tolerate the job?

Perhaps a better question to ask myself is: what do I want? Then, I’ll know if I had made the right choice.

And this is what I want. I want to grow and accomplish a lot. I want to do what I love because we only live once.

I see what I love in the new company—the opportunity to write and the chance to be read. I have worked in customer service, media production, advertising and business development, but this is the first time ever that I will be doing a job that is actually my passion and specialization (writing was my college major). This is a great leap towards the fulfillment of my dreams. A stepping stone to becoming a renowned writer.

To be able to do what I love is a great motivation, so why am I so apprehensive?


I tend to be anxious about many things. So, recently, I made a personal diagram of how I can fight fears, and applied it in this situation.

Attachment-1

The first step is, like they always say, acknowledge the fears—admit the things that I am afraid of.

I am afraid that the new job might be too demanding and stressful that I won’t be able to keep up with it. I am afraid of doing something clumsy or stupid that people are going to judge me. I am afraid of not matching the wavelength of my new colleagues and be alienated. Not only am I afraid but do I also hate to force myself to reach out to people. I’m generally a friendly and approachable person, but I hate feeling like it’s a requirement to make friends and like I have to force myself to come up with icebreakers. I like conversations to flow naturally. I’m scared of being judged.

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The next step is to know why. Why am I afraid of these things?

I walked into a bigger world with a greater assortment of personalities good and bad.

I am not even sure why I feel so afraid and concerned about not matching with other people, being alienated or being judged. I know these are all pointless, restrictive fears. Perhaps I have these ridiculous fears because my self-esteem is so vulnerable and I have the natural instinct to protect my wellbeing. In the university, I was trained and have gotten used to being open to constructive criticisms. But those were criticisms of work. I wasn’t trained to be receptive to personal criticisms. I grew up in a small and mellow environment and had always been lucky to meet good-natured friends. But as I stepped out of college, I walked into a bigger world with a greater assortment of personalities good and bad. I wasn’t used to it.

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Now that I have acknowledged what my fears are and why I fear them, my third and final step is to find more productive fears. What am I more afraid of?

I can’t grow and accomplish things, in this one shot I got at life, if I let my fears hold me back.

I go back to the question of what do I want? I want to grow and accomplish a lot. As far as I can tell, we only live once. And I’m afraid that I can’t grow and accomplish things, in this one shot I got at life, if I let my fears hold me back. I am more afraid to just leave this world and be buried six feet below the ground without leaving a legacy. I want to be remembered through my writing, or whatever creative craft I do. This is what I am more afraid of.

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As a self-confessed sluggish and sleepy girl, I am met every day with the greatest temptation of just burying my face in my iPod or laptop and binging on Netflix and video games. But every day I am also confronted with this greater fear of not becoming the person I want to be, not growing and not accomplishing.


Now, this is what I personally thought up based on my experiences, which I feel is a very good way to fight irrational fears. I have found, however, that there is a book that has tackled the same concept, although it highlighted more on the fear of God; and a very cute and touching episode of a Japanese anime I loved very much as a kid. Fear of God may be the best kind of fear, but in a more earthly sense, a good fear can be anything. It can be the fear of hurting the people you love or the fear of not achieving your dreams.

I may be afraid to leave my comfort zone or make mistakes in the new job or not be liked by everyone, but all of these are a part of the wholeness of the world—at least the world I live in. Leaving my comfort zone means widening my horizons and stretching my capabilities. Making mistakes means learning. And not being liked by everyone? We can’t please everyone, it’s true. But as long as there are people who love me, I will keep going.

Blossom

The young apple blossoms hesitate to bloom as they pretend heedless to the luring whispers of the early morning breeze. Mark has been watching, listening to the soft but tuneful blow of the wind.

Anna hesitates to walk towards the apple tree where a young man has been standing upright, his head cocked. She feels the wind dance beneath her billowing skirt. Her chest rises, pushing against her fitted blouse. Her feet starts to jolt forward.

Mark turns his head and catches late the sight of Anna running toward him. One quick second, she’s running, and the next she’s jumping on him. Mark has caught her legs that are now clutched on his hips. The air dances into scattered waves, blowing the apple blossoms into full bloom and whooshing Anna’s hair on Mark’s face.

***

The Door and Out

It is plainly painted with cream. Its bristled roughness and sharp edges show an appearance of toughness yet its slenderness gives away its vulnerability. The surface, lined with vertical bristles, is like a vast highway with heavy traffic of parallel vehicles. The handle, like a stout and narrow bronze goblet, is cold to the touch.

I see a boy. A tall one. He’s standing upright and in the background is a symmetrical, cone-shaped mountain. The sky is bright and almost a perfect blue except for a few passing feathery clouds. Strangely, at his foot is a small hill of what seem like crumpled sheets of paper. I begin to step out of the door and hear the crisp sound of the grass beneath my feet. The roar of a vehicle from a distance has seemed to cue the bird above my head to cheep and chirp. I try to catch sight of the vehicle but find an empty sandy road. I gaze back at the crumpled sheets at the boy’s feet. I make out a huge “50%” text printed in red on a glossy paper.

The field is an expansive pasture of short but fearlessly sharp yellow-green grass. The heat of the sun is mild but as I walk around, I feel the rays of sunlight gently prick the back of my neck—so gentle that it’s tickling. I try to look straight at the sun but it’s too conscious—or cautious—to let me glance at its glow. Every time I turn my eyes on it, the sun immediately shoots diamonds of piercing rays directly to my eyes. And I immediately, involuntarily, turn away. I seek the shade of a huge mango tree at the side of the road. It’s a small road. Some vehicles pass occasionally. I cling onto the robust trunk of the tree and look around. No houses. No other people except for—

“Hey.”

I look behind me and the boy that was standing blankly outside the door is now here. He slides his hand around my waist and I don’t struggle in any way against it. I turn to face him and now I feel his breath against my forehead. I breathe in his breath which smells like warm steel.

“Where do you want to go next?” He asks me.

“I don’t care as long as you carry me,” I tease.

He lightly pinches my nose and giggles. Now, he’s full of life. Then, he squats and takes my arms onto his shoulders and almost instinctively, I jump and hang onto his back like a baby koala. He starts to run and the wind blows excitedly on my face.