Sunday, December 30, 2018

2018 roundup!

It has been SO long since I last logged in that now typing "bl" into the address bar of Google Chrome gets me a Yaoi search result instead of an auto redirection to Blogger.com.

One day Google will announce that Blogger.com is closing, and I will feel sad for a (long) while.

I'm glad I'm still here to type this entry, because here we are once again at the end of the year. I'm glad I still remember that my annual tradition is to review the year with pictures and blurbs.

So, 2018!

Visited Vietnam for the first time and fell madly in love. Plus it was right after I quit a shitty job (*more details below) so everything was perfect about it.

Eel salad at a random hole-in-the-wall restaurant in Hanoi


Overnight cruise + kayaking in Halong Bay
The best beach resort holiday I've had at Danang
Ran the most number of 10km runs in a single year! Also improved on my timing (although it's still not very good because the only thing that can help me run faster - weight loss - has not been achieved).

First 10km without stopping: 2XU Compression Run the day after Vietnam

Slowest and latest 10km ever: overpriced, oversubscribed OSIM Sundown Marathon

 Absolutely loved Garmin's TPS runs!

Fastest 10km at the most sexist running event.
It sounds like fun - visiting new parts of Singapore every weekend and viewing houses of various types - but house hunting is extremely tiring because we are SO HOT and you're basically visiting people's homes without being able to sit down or rest. For the record, I viewed 26 houses in total!
3000+ sqft with more than half of it wasted on balcony/outdoor space.

Cluster housing (tiny + impractical houses for rich + small families)

Superb view (but lousy layout) at "only" 4.1mil.

Young and rich architects designing and developing houses for sale

Hong Kong
(yes, again)! One three-day trip and a 7-hour layover.

Mongkok again

Shum Shui Po for the first time

FINALLY!

First run in Hong Kong, at a neighbourhood park in Causeway Bay

Random bus rides on a layover

Returned to Edinburgh again, to make new (less anxiety-riddled) memories of the place, because the sister was sent there for a month.
Ascended Arthur's Seat for a sunset!

Day trip to Scottish Highlands

Saw more of Europe by visiting Valencia and Barcelona in Spain. For some reason, I got away unscathed and did not get pickpocketed/scammed!

First budget flight in Europe

Valencian Paella

Valencian City of Arts and Sciences

Spain = Nadal = Beach

Best cured meat experience

The cathedral that changed my mind about cathedrals

Barcelona is so pretty!

And extremely yummy!

Finally visited Wales after years of being just next to the country.

Spent my birthday weekend with some limestone

And pretty Cardiff on the day itself

Went back to Paris in the midst of their riots, and so did nothing but stay in the airport hotel, and ate and shopped near the airport.
Cheeeeese

Also, two very beautiful babies were born to my friends.
They both have names that start with Jo and are now super precious to me.


Let me be very honest! On paper, I achieved next to nothing in 2018. Almost nothing I did this year could be forced onto my CV. Not only did I give up on completing Part A and RLT, literally the best thing that came out of that whole experience was me suing my then-boss at the Employment Claims Tribunal and winning. That really sounds a lot more exciting than it really was; and as with 90% of all litigation (I think) most of the fighting was done in writing, which I remain very grateful for. If there is one thing I learnt, I learnt that my anxiety doesn't disable me. It causes me loads of problems, but if you step on my toes in an illegal fashion, LOL I will still come after you. The ex-boss who thought otherwise tried to use my mental health issues to his advantage; but unfortunately all the allegations he made about me over email and every threat he threw my way didn't help him save the few hundred dollars he had to pay me in the end which - by the way - included the fees and disbursements incurred in filing the ECT claim against him. For the record, it is much cheaper to file a claim in Singapore than it was in the UK pre-UNISON. But our system is really awful for the weak.

Anyway, between the months of September 2017 and January 2018 there were more days spent crying than actually doing anything of significance. There was finally one weekend in January that I realised I needed to seek help.

The first psychologist (Vivien Yap) I saw was recommended by my GP and pure shit. She was very expensive (as they all are) and not only was she very unfriendly at the beginning, she kept interrupting me while taking my history to dish out shitty advice. I obviously never went back. A few days later, an old friend recommended Th!nk Psychology. In the end, I saw a clinical psychologist at Th!nk between end January and August (like every two weeks at the start then every three-four weeks towards the end) and I remain very impressed with their professional service.

We live in a society that doesn't really understand mental health issues and we don't care enough to even learn more about it. But believe me - it helps when you find someone professional and respectful to talk to. I am not entirely free from my problems [and I still have days when I am utterly unproductive because I just want to sit down and cry] but these days are not as frequent anymore and at least as of now they are not debilitating.

Whenever I look back on those days I get really scared, because that was truly the worst time I've had in my life and I never want to relive it. Let's hope I don't!

Here's to you, 2018. Thank you for being relatively kind and fun-filled compared to 2017. May 2019 be even better. 

Monday, January 01, 2018

2018

These days I feel like blogging has become a very childish thing and it's weird that I still do it at the ripe old age of 28. But at the same time I wonder if there are better ways to remember certain things. Will Facebook memories suffice, or is Instagram's Best Nine everyone's favourite?

2017 was strange. The first half of the year was incredibly productive and I feel like I achieved much more than I ever thought I would.

In addition to completing that 5000 words on Corporate Environmental Responsibility (s172(1)(d) CA 2006), I found great joy in Employment Law and Public International Law and decided to at some point, pursue these at a higher academic level.

I finally got that LLB I always wanted, but as I expected, ended up with not much of a direction after graduation. There are many things I want to do with my law degree, but there's also a lot of pressure pushing me in ways I don't want to go. I dread the fact that I am a law graduate in such a mercenary society. But maybe it is in the most capitalist of places that we need to serve.

I don't have to hope that 2018 will be more productive because the second half of 2017 was so meh that anything will be better than that. It wasn't terrible - at least not outside of kpop - but I don't think I've ever had such a meaningless six months.



I might remember 2017 as the year that I weaned myself off kpop and TVB because things were mostly quiet on both.

Kpop was bordering on terrible the whole year and BTS was its only saving grace until Super Junior came back with one of their best albums ever but as luck would have it, Siwon's dog decided to kill somebody, silly fans decided to boycott Sungmin for getting married several years ago and nobody paid attention to Black Suit in the end. But I thought, at least they're not disbanded like SISTAR is now.

Until December 18 came and Jonghyun decided to take his life. Nothing is more permanent than death, and perhaps for as long as the world refuses to change its opinions on mental health, things like that will keep happening. I may not have paid very much attention to SHINee and Jonghyun since View, but I really hope Jonghyun knows that he shone so brightly and he did so well during his time with us.

No one died in TVB but that broadcasting company had just one good drama in 2017.


If you didn't watch Legal Mavericks, please do. Its got great acting and an amazing storyline. Just don't take the law parts seriously... one thing about doing law is that it ruins TV dramas for you forever.



In 2017...
I learnt how to work out in the gym
I spent an excessive amount of time in the library, even after exams

I watched Jay Chou in London
I visited Paris Disneyland and got pickpocketed
I left the place I called home for three years
I got myself on a dating app
Attended the first of SHG's weddings
I graduated
I went to Paris and ate a lot of Japanese food
I visited a really interesting exhibition on the expression of the self
I finally visited Wimbledon for real
I went to Edinburgh and ascended Arthur's Seat
I made the first move to hold a boy's hand
I took Cathay Pacific from LHR to HKG and absolutely loved it
I attempted Part A and cried throughout
I found a dessert place to absolutely adore
I went to Tai Po Market and for some reason really liked the smell of live seafood
I ran 5km for charity
I started doing Muay Thai 

In 2018 I hope to continue building my relationship with exercise, particularly in terms of strength training, running and Muay Thai.

In 2018, I hope to take big steps to making my LLB something that can help other people.

In 2018, I hope to be more disciplined about reading, especially about International Law.

In 2018, I hope to be kinder to the people around me.


Happy New Year, everyone! Here's to us.