Intern Life: Part Deux

Hello guys! Welcome back to the life-as-an-intern series. In the first episode, my boss turned out to be a sexual predator, and I ordered a brainless chicken. If you miss it, read it here.

Well, I had another internship right after that. In fact, I quit my previous internship early so that I could start another internship. WHY, you ask?

HAVE YOU BEEN PAYING ATTENTION AT ALL, PEOPLE?!

But hey, I was quite efficient, right? Grab life by its horn! Grab every opportunity! Don’t simply wait, but make things happen!

Ah, indeed was the epitome of all that since I was already interviewing for another internship while I was still in one. This other internship was for a PR role in a boutique PR agency. It was a typical boutique setting – the office was located in one of those shop houses along Dhoby Ghaut.

I remember the interview quite clearly though. I did not think I would get the role because I was talking and laughing too much. Perhaps it was my way to mask my nervousness. I recall the interviewer asked me something, and I made a reference about a celebrity being dead.

Don’t ask.

However, I got called back a few days later, telling me that I did get the internship and I was expected to start as soon as possible. It was quite awkward, I had to tell my current boss at that time that I had a personal issues and that I needed to cut the internship early. I think he was quite rude and mean about it – and I don’t know whether I should have, but I thought about what’s best for myself and that I could learn something more relevant to my study at the other PR company.

So I did it! I started interning at this company where I had quite a fun and fruitful working experience. My colleagues were very nice, they were definitely older and sometimes I felt quite ‘irrelevant’ being around them but they tried to guide and teach me along although they were in and out of the office for most times.

I had to do media monitoring every morning – which essentially meant flipping the newspapers and some online sites, checking if there were any mentions on any of our clients’ brands. I would then have to compile a report and send them to the clients’ every day. Other than that, I also helped out with whatever tasks my colleagues gave.

There were nothing to complain, really. I enjoyed myself, and the only memory I could think of while I was interning there was the fact that I just got into a long-distance relationship with my then-boyfriend and I remember talking to him on the phone every day at lunch time.

My colleagues were probably thinking I’m a total weirdo for always refusing to join them for lunch.

I’M SORRY, BUT I WAS YOUNG AND STUPID AND IN LOVE AND STILL SO HOPELESSLY ROMANTIC. WHAT COULD BE MORE IMPORTANT THAN TALKING TO YOUR BOYFRIEND EVERY LUNCH HOUR? (EVEN THOUGH I STILL TALKED TO HIM EVERY NIGHT TIME TOO..)

Ah, the things we do for love..

Anyway, another thing I recalled was, during this internship I wrote an opinion piece which ended up being featured in the local newspaper and I remember boasting about it to the bosses. It was actually quite lame – the way I boasted was as if I just won a Nobel Prize.

Very classy, Tina.

My writing journey.

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I have dreamed of being a writer ever since I was 7.

Lack of resources and (real) creativity, my sister and I used to publish our own “newsletter” when we were small, little kids.

What do 7 year old kids know about newsletter, and what could we possibly write about that was worthy enough to call it a ‘newsletter’, I have no idea.

We typed away in Notepad, or maybe it was an older program I couldn’t even remember and wrote stuffs about things that were happening around the house. I vividly remembered writing about how my driver farted.

Whoa. Real investigative journalism right there. Christiane Amanpour in the making!

We forced kindly asked our maids and driver to read it and it was very exciting. We published a new issue every week with stories as equally lame as the next.

I was quite an artsy kid; I’ve always loved language and arts growing up. English course never felt like an obligation to me, I loved learning new words, composing essays and talking in some language other than my mother tongue, and English was the first foreign language I studied. I wonder if I would share the same passion had my mom enrolled me in Chinese class instead. In my free time, I loved drawing and making stories too; I used to have this erasable drawing pad where my sister and I would draw on while creating storyline on the spot.

I loved drawing class at school, and I enjoyed designing letters and decorating pages. During my elementary years, my mom enrolled me in drawing course and I remembered being so excited, we learned things like how to combine colors and create more natural, flawless color transformation. It may sound silly, but I actually think even that drawing class has helped transform me into the kind of person I am today. In a way that I can’t really describe.

I started writing short stories for children’s magazines too. I remember writing so many stories (sometimes printed, sometimes handwritten) and putting them in envelopes, intending to send them to the magazine, but I don’t remember ever actually sending them. Maybe because I never really thought my stories would get featured, and I got embarrassed by the idea that someone else might actually read them.

As time went on, my passion of writing had both its ups and downs. There were periods when I intensely wrote in my diary every day. It was almost like an itch, as if I couldn’t feel contented if I haven’t come up with a post in a day. On the other hand, I had some hibernating moments too, vacuums in my life where I stopped writing altogether.

Especially when I started working and being caught up in this thing called ‘life’.

But thinking about it, even though I had my moments of intense productivity when it comes to writing, I always come back to it. After more than 20 years of writing on and off, I could still say that I loved writing so much and that I could express myself so much better in words.

At the end of the day, maybe having a passion about something doesn’t necessarily mean you have to feel so strongly about it all the time.

For the past years, I thought to myself that sure, it would be so sweet if I could write for a living. In fact, I’ve been to both spectrum: from being ‘I’ll be the next Carrie Bradshaw’ to ‘Who am I kidding? I’ve no real writing experience, who would hire me? And even if they would, who cares about what I think of guys in skinny jeans’?

However, I’ve come to realise that the act of writing itself is therapeutic enough that I would merely be content with doing it when I feel like it. Somehow it feels more liberating and comforting to me.

But at the end of the day, I’m still the same person who loves writing and talking nonsense about everything under the sun. And sure, the things that I write wouldn’t change the state of living in Africa, or cure Cancer, but I believe that I do have a voice and an opinion that at least could entertain a person or two.

Myself is one. If you are reading this – then thank you, you are the second and last person and I want to give you a big hug.

Now, I’m just going to enjoy the process of writing when I can – whether it’s here, or at work where I luckily have a lot of opportunities to write as a PR person. I’ve gotten to do some awesome freelance gigs in the past as well, and I just recently wrote a chapter for a book project and heck, I don’t know if I’m going to ever finish writing a book but I’m helluva going to try and it’s going to be a lot of fun attempting to do so!

Anyway, I think I’m babbling and it sounds like I’m ready to propose to writing seeing how much I’ve been gushing about it in the past 15 minutes.

But I’m just going to end this with… happiness is a choice. I can choose to be grateful for the things I’ve accomplished and what I’m still able to do, or feeling like a total failure because I’m not a writer and I don’t have my own column and I’m not even in the media industry and I’m not where I thought I would be…

Whichever you feel, it’s a decision that is entirely yours.

Full time dabbler.

In the days that I doubted my own capabilities, when I wondered whether I’m doing what I’m supposed to, God lent me a hand through helpful advice from people around me.

The truth is, only a handful of people can be truly certain of their dreams. Sometimes, we don’t even know our own aspirations, or our life’s greatest purpose aside from the generic need “to be happy”. I’m definitely one of those people. I’m one of the people who sometimes find myself in a meaningless job with no motivation or satisfaction. I’m one of those people who sometimes lay awake at night wondering if I’m gonna spend the rest of my life feeling like this.

I envy people who have extraordinary skills, like my good friend Elsa who is a piano maestro, or those who can confidently say, “ever since I was a kid, I’ve always loved singing, so this is what I want to do for the rest of my llife.” Or even those folks who can fix computers, talk gadgets, play video games and become really, really good at it. Wouldn’t it be easy if each one of us is blessed with one extraordinary skill?

My problem is that I dabble on every little things all over the place, and I end up not getting really good at anything. I took organ class, art and drawing class, cooking lessons, did scouts throughout my school years; tried diving and rock climbing, learned Chinese, and other nonsense but always stopped halfway because… I didn’t think they were for me. I stopped doing things before I even got the chance to see if I were gonna be any good at them.

I’ve always known I have a short attention span, but this is just ridiculous. I think out of everything that I have tried doing, the only few things that stuck with me ’til now is how much I like writing, traveling and sharing my experience. But even those things I can’t do consistently and something always seems to get in the way.

In short, I think I’m someone who likes to always keep moving. Maybe not forward, more like sideways until I end up getting lost. And in those times, when I questioned myself whether ‘marketing’ is my forte (being in this line of work for 7 years now – which seems short in a span of a lifetime, but long when you come to think of those years spent of almost half your 20s), my sister said to me that it’s really okay to feel this way, But don’t just stop and admit defeat. Instead, continue dabble and figure out your true passion, While at it, try to do your best in marketing, or in whatever your line of work is. Because until you find something else that you can be really good at, who knows what you are capable of now?

Suddenly the song from Pocahontas crossed my mind:

How high will the sycamore grow?
If you cut it down, then you’ll never know.

I think, eventually only a few people in the world were born with an extraordinary skill. I think most of them achieve them through hard work and dedication.

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And another quote I would like to share with you is something from my new boss:
Never stop learning. The day you stop learning is the day you stop growing.

So, dabble away and find your true talent.

Or at least, don’t ever stop trying.

5 Reasons why Daredevil is the best Marvel series on Netflix

Okay, it’s not like there are a lot of Marvel series in Netflix to begin with, but I digress.

Ever since I started watching Daredevil, I was immediately hooked. I look forward to every night to go home from work so that I can continue seeing this amazing, bloodshed, totally believable and the amazing performance by this cast.

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Pre-Daredevil, the only superheroes series I have gotten to love is Smallville.. and that was ages ago! Although, can you remember how hot young Tom Welling was?!

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(Oh hello there, you can save me anytime, Clark.)

I tried seeing Gotham and I did not like that at all. Flash or Arrow did not interest me even the slightest, so when I saw Daredevil popping up in my Netflix, I was skeptical at first.

Oh boy, I’m glad I gave it a try.

Anyway, 2 seasons later, we are in that period of terrible waiting time until the new season comes! And I can’t wait! Marvel released other series on Netflix: Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Iron Fist.

Tried seeing Jessica Jones because of the high rating and many positive recommendation from friends, but even that disappoints. I found Jessica Jones very draggy at times – and the characters involved are not as riveting (I mean, aside from herself and Kilgrave, what’s even the point of the other characters?) And after a while, her character just slightly bores me.

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(Doesn’t being an angry, reluctant, anti-hero tire you Jessica?)

Luke Cage was the same. It started out promising, but I felt that the plot was very ‘self-absorbed’. The series basically is just about him escaping his past and how it came back to haunt him. The villain was underwhelming. And the ending was very non-conclusive and satisfying as well.

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(Ok, you’re strong and bulletproof. I give you that, Luke.)

I’m currently seeing Iron Fist and my final verdict has yet to be decided. I’m only on episode 6, and so far it’s been alright. It started out very slow and draggy, but it’s getting better now. However, I don’t really enjoy even Danny Rand character – he’s very naive, too idealistic and childish. Surprisingly, I’m growing to like Wade – at least his character evolved and it’s interesting to see where he will end up. Joy seems like a useless character at this point – but I have a feeling she will play an important role in upcoming episodes. I’m waiting for a biggest twist.

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(Angsty bro?)

However, still, none of the other series could match the greatness of Daredevil and everything it brings! Hallelujah!

1. Awesome cast

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(Avocados at Law unite!)

Amazing ensemble, everyone just plays their shit out of their role! Nobody is out of character. Everyone is believable, their chemistry can be felt and each role plays a part. Charlie Cox is the perfect Matt Murdoch, I can’t think of anyone else excelling in this role as him. Even Karen – a character I dislike, is portrayed perfectly and annoyingly as it intended to. The supporting characters – Foggy, Claire, Ben, and everyone else is just as great.

2. Powerful, bloody and realistic fighting scenes

Oh shit, the fighting choreography here is just da bomb! Don’t you guys remember this iconic scene that’s completely 1-take?

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3. Amazing plot

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There are so many elements in the whole series that make it just so… whole and riveting. There’s Matt’s personal struggles and childhood stories, his relationship with Foggy, Karen, Claire, Stick, Elektra that is at times separate and with its own arch. Then again, on top of all those inter-personal conflicts and relationships, there’s a bigger story with Kingpin and The Hand. Aside from being Daredevil, we’re also shown Matt’s personal side as a lawyer and keeping everything together. It’s just so wholesome where everything ties in together.

4. Riveting villains (that you can’t help but root for – somehow?)

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Wilson Fisk and how he’s portrayed in the series is very terrifying. Amazing casting once again! Aside from being a sadistic, evil, manipulative and ruthless villain, we’re also shown a different side of him – his childhood and love interest. It’s refreshing to see a different side of someone, especially a villain. And in season 2, he’s totally back and still as powerful as ever, even in prison and I can’t wait to see him again in the next season!

5. Charlie Cox. Just Because.

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You. Are. Welcome.

What I’ve Learned in 2016

Another year has passed. Isn’t it crazy how time flies? I have barely blinked an eye, and here we are, at the brink of 2016.

This year has been a roller-coaster of emotions. It’s the year of being challenged – having to believe in myself and pushing myself more than ever. I have been tough on myself, beating myself up and feeling not good enough at times. Yet, it’s also the year of realisation that things are never as bad as it seems. It’s about having the circle of people you can rely on entirely, and love you when you are not at your best self. It’s about their encouragement, support, friendship and invaluable perspective that I needed more than ever in those challenging times.

I got engaged this year. When I think about my younger days, I’ve always known that I would find my special someone who could make me go weak in the knees and would fight for me (simply because I’ve watched too many drama at that point and my romantic expectation is at level high because of Pacey Witter – of course, a fiction character), but now that I am in that relationship that feels safe.. I know that loving someone is an action we have to choose every day, and it may not be all fireworks and full of passion like how I used to think.. but it doesn’t make it any less real. I’m so very grateful for you, and for all our adventures and moments together, and I know we can only have more memories in the future.

In other aspects, I had many challenges this year that made me question my own capabilities and it taught me to be tougher, to be bolder, don’t ever be afraid to speak up. People, and circumstances were often disappointing – I knew that. And it really messes me up. Shouldn’t everyone be fair and treat others respectfully? Shouldn’t appreciation come naturally instead of being demanded?

Life’s never fair, people tell me time and time again. What to do? We can’t control what happens to us, but we can control what we can do about it. This year, even more than ever, I am reminded, that nobody will look after you, but yourself. You are your own biggest asset. Do what you can to make yourself happy. Because if you are not, then what is the point of it all?

I learnt to rely on my friends and people around me who have always shown their love for me through their actions; not just through words. That is what we all need to remember.

It’s the year of gratitude for people who have gone out of the way to lend me their advice and wisdom through their mentorship.

2017, I hope you will be nicer to me. I can’t wait to see what you will bring and I am excited, ecstatic of the possibilities and opportunities I may face next year. The sky’s the limit, if you just try your hardest!

Happy New Year!

 

Good Times.

This weekend I met up with one of my oldest friend in Singapore.

We used to be the closest – partners in crime who share everything and anything with each other and it’s amazing to think back about the things that we have gone through together!

We were there through each other’s relationships, break-ups and countless drunken moments (mostly mine).

Through our phrases – schools, party days a la Sex and The City, trip to the States, potlucks, IKEAs, slumber parties, bar-hopping, and so many more!

She’s the Charlotte to my Samantha.

(Because she’s classy and proper and I’m a maneater)

Over lunch and drinks, we caught up about lives and dreams and we’re planning to take a trip together (my last as a single lady) and we can’t be more excited!

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