Saturday, August 19, 2017

2017 So Far

It's been 6 months since I last blogged. Little did I know 6 months could fly just like that *snap*

Looking back, it definitely feels more than 6 months.


So much was going in my life in the past 6 months and it wasn't till 3 Saturdays ago I had my first ever no-schedule day all to myself.

Here's my biggest attempt to recap everything.

January 2017 caught me off-guard when the Aussie government suddenly increased the minimum points required for their skilled migration visa applications. Since then, everything was just a hot mess. 1 week before I headed back home to Malaysia to visit my family, I made two major decisions - enrolled in the Professional Year programme and the Naati paraprofessional interpreter exam.

To be honest, looking back, I have absolutely NO idea how did I manage to afford paying for all these let alone surviving through them. Those two cost me more than 10 grand - I paid every single cent on my own.

But, what else can I do? I really want to get the permanent residency in Australia. Thus, the only solution was to suck it up and hustle through.

Right after I got back from Malaysia, I enrolled in another external course that prepped me for the Naati parapofessional interpreter exam. That took place on every Saturday from 10-5pm. On the other hand, the Professional Year programme runs every Sunday from 9-5pm. I was, still am working full time from 8.30-5pm from Monday to Friday and occasionally a few Saturday shifts.

Believe me when I say this, anytime, anywhere, I'd choose work over exams and studies!

Right after Naati exam ended, it was the time to get my shit together and study for the level CFA exam in June which I enrolled last year when I got my first ever paycheck.


CFA was really hectic. By this time, I was at the brink of going insane. Not too literally but you get the gist of it... I love working in banking and finance in real life but when it comes to studying for a Finance exam, I'll sum it up in one word: SUICIDAL. I was never good at Finance exams. Although things made more sense this time around considering that I have been in banking for quite a while, I didn't have the fire of passion burning in me.

On top of that, I had to find a new place to move. Because most of my friends had renewed their leases at the start of the year and also because most friends moved back to their home countries after graduation, there's basically nobody whom I could see as a potential flatmate. The last resort was to go onto flatmates.com or whatever random websites and put myself out there to find a potential flatmate. For me, this was the most pathetic and desperate situation that I got myself into, EVER. I was disgusted to my bone marrow! It's the feeling of begging your ex ex ex ex boyfriend to patch back with you.

I started to recognise the fact that having a full time job is not good enough. Working hard is not hard enough. Everything's stagnant. Being so tied up by a crazy schedule indirectly made me complacent and lost focus in life because my goal switched to completing everything on the schedule and that's a happy day! I felt as if the whole world was going to collapse on me. As if I had a thousand invisible dementors around me sucking my soul out of me. I was lost but also dead, in the inside. "Stucked", "quarter-life crisis" or whatever you label it - that's the situation where I was in, though my personal description would be "FUCKED".

Thankfully, I was blessed enough to transfer to another workplace within the same company. The day when I was told that, I was so goddamn happy and I felt like a tiny beansprout that just had his "breakthrough" to the first exposure of sunlight after being in a bean for ages.

I did consider skipping the exam because the idea of hustling through and "try your luck, who knows what the outcome will be" scared the shit out of me, big time. Perhaps suffocating is the better word choice. Still...after a few cry-babe sessions and tonnes of whinging, I continued with my studies.

Right before the CFA exam, the paraprofesional interpreter results came back and I failed by 2 marks! Fuck my life big time. At that time, I didn't even know what should I feel. I didn't cry, to my very own astonishment, because I didn't even have the time to register the fact that I failed the exam that could potentially cost me to be thrown out of Australia in my head.

Very quickly, I submitted a request to have my Naati results reviewed BUT I also decided to place all my bet on the table by enrolling in the "internal" Naati at the same time as my backup plan because I couldn't afford to sit around and waste for things to happen. I have come too far to bear this risk by not going all out.

For those who don't know, the "internal" Naati is just like a diploma. Unlike the official Naati exam where you figure things out on your own and sit for the exam with all fingers and toes crossed that you could successfully pass it, "internal" Naati is basically like enrolling in a 1 unit of subject at college. You have to go to classes, submit assignments, fulfill in-class assessments and etc. This cost me 3.2K...

Adulting life is struggling to find a way to pay everything you have to pay, priotize your payments and trying to squeeze out some money for savings.

I guess the saying "the bitter has to come before the sweet" is legit because one of my friends suddenly texted me and asked "are you still looking for an apartment because I'm thinking of moving out". Fast forward through those apartment hunting shit and trying to sweet-talk the property agents to let me secure a place without having to go for an inspection, I finally sorted out the lease of our new place.

Then, for the next few weeks, my life consisted of 3 things ONLY - work and CFA and a list of miscellaneous to-dos.



Miraculously...I managed to walk out of the CFA exam hall alive.

Reaching for the remote control to fast forward things again, after CFA, I finally had the time to get my nails, eyebrows and facial done and had my first ever shopping in 2017. The rest of the time was spent decluttering and packing.

5th July I moved into the new apartment and spent around 1 or 2 weeks trying to put the place together. Then the Naati results came back with a PASS!! I was sick at that time but with the "PASS" in hand, I rolled out of the bed regardless and headed to the "internal" Naati to withdraw myself from their exams and also to submit my EOI (expression of interest) for my Aussie permanent residency visa.

Just when I thought that it's time for me to slowly reap what I sowed, I failed CFA. Found out about this at 4am and balled my eyes out. Eventually I went to work with black smokey eye makeup to work so I could cover up my goldfish eyes.

Technically speaking, I consider this the very first time I fail an exam in my 23 years of life. It hit me hard but at the same time, I didn't have the desire to do it again even though I believe if I were to do it again I would be able to pass it this time...Just that...I don't know, I can't picture myself doing it anymore, at least not in the near future. I want to stop having something hanging behind my head and waking up everyday living from one to-do list to another to-do list.

After I talked to a few friends about it, I decided to hide it from my mom first because I knew deep down that I wasn't ready to do it again and I was so petrified at the thought of her telling me to re-do it again. As much as it kills me hiding things from my mom (I'm the worst at lying to mommy since I was a kid), I also knew that I'm old enough to make decisions on my own and bear with the consequences of my choices. Nevertheless, at this point of my life, I really do not have the tiniest bit of desire to work on something just because I have to but not because I want to.

Although I feel apologetic towards my mom, I am not really sorry. On the contrary, I'm ultimately thankful to her when she told me to retake IF I'm ever ready to do it again myself. Also, thankful that she is starting to treat me like an adult.

As a pick-me-up, I plunged myself into building something that I have been wanting to do for quite some time. While I felt stuck in life earlier this year, I decided to start an online business.

I was, still am pretty clueless with whatever I am doing but I know after all these crap that I went through in the past 1.5 years, I want to do something for myself. Owning a business has always been a fascinating idea of mine. I want to create something that represents me and that belongs to me. Something that its value is way beyond success or failure - because it's something that I build from scratch myself and nobody can take it away from me.

Something like the fox that the Little Prince tamed and the rose that he took care of on planet B612.



I'm stoked to share that I'm building a clothing ecommerce store and it's launching really soon!!!!!

Sign up for the newsletter to be the first to know when the shop goes live!!!


Here's a little sneak peak - the first ever product that I've introduced to anyone!


Basically, this is a one-girl show. I'm the purchaser, the photo editor, the designer, the admin, the photographer ... EVERYTHING. I am putting my heart and soul into it but I am also blessed with many talented and smart people around me who have helped me in the process of putting together this big puzzle. The process would've been horrendous without you all!!!! You guys know who you are and ya all know that I love you from the very bottom of my heart 

Another thing to share is that...I also decided to chase the dream that I have been putting off for 7 years! 7 goddamn years!

Looking back I can't believe why on earth did I put off a dream for THIS long!!!



One of the most surreal shits that I have experienced in my life. I swear I was at the brink of bursting into tears. All these years of "BIG TALKS", finally...I am going to Korea!!!!! FOR HALF A MONTH!!!!! 

7 years of waiting for THE PERFECT moment to go to Korea, I decided to not wait any longer. If you know me through social media or in real life, I am a huge Korean fanatic since I fell for Jung Yong Hwa oppa in 2011 and thus I fell in love with Korea, the place where my man lives! I'm going to be stepping on the same piece of land with him AHHH ♥

Perfect moments never exist in real life, what we can do is to take the leap of faith and create moments as perfect as possible ourselves. Many things in life are now or never, so don't wait anymore. Let things free fall and have faith in yourself along the way. 

I know it's easier said than done but going through life is not an easy process, thus when we come across anything that we desire, make sure to believe in yourself and work hard for it. Despite the fact that results are not always guaranteed, you will be surprised by what life has to offer - it might not be right away but someday it will. I believe it that. 

For me, although it took 7 years, this is also the first time I'm travelling solo and one thing that I am proud of is that despite paying for my rent, insurances and all these exams and list of crazy stuffs that I listed above, I am still able to afford to save a decent amount to go on this trip!



Dear Mom, IF you are reading this and before you get mad, I'd layover for a night in Malaysia to chill with you for a day or two before heading back to Melbourne!! 

2017 had been crazily stressful for me for the past 7 months but now I accept the fact that the power to change things around and create a life that I want lies within my own hands and nobody else's.

Choosing to do something that you want and believing in it is just like growing a seed. You can't control the sunlight, the air or other factors but make sure that you are putting your best effort in doing whatever you can to nourish it and have faith that it will bloom beautifully one day.


Fingers crossed for the luck to be on my side!!! AND YOUR SIDES TOO!!!

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Gold Museum - Ballarat Trip (Part 1)

Finally I’m sitting down here to blog about my Ballarat trip which we went in November last year. Ever since I saw the photos of Ballarat, well Souvereign Hill to be specific, I knew I had to go there. It's a place where you'd feel as if you just hopped onto a time machine and travelled back in time to the 1850s!!! I'm not going to spoil the surprise here as I'm going to have a whole long blogpost on Souvereign Hill itself, stay tuned :P
 
After I finished my PTE test, I knew I had to go on a getaway trip. My life was incredibly crazy at that time and I really wanted a break to go somewhere far where I could just forget about everything else behind my head. Since Chernie was on her short semester break before the commencement of her summer subjects, we decided to just go to Ballarat to our Saturday and Sunday there. It’s our first time travelling together as well so we were very excited!! Plus, it’s time for us to bring our new cameras out for an adventure too!
 
The original plan was to travel there by V-line and get around the city and Souvereign Hill by taxi or Uber. However, after working out the Maths we realised it’s not really cost-effective. Then, we found a cheaper and more convenient option. To weigh the pros and cons:
 
Plan A - going there on our own 
-tram fees to get to Southern cross station for V-line $3.8
-V-line ticket (1 way) approx $14
-cab fare to get to Souvereign Hill approx $15-20

-Souvereign Hill and Gold Museum tickets $54
Biggest advantage: Having all the freedom to do whatever we want without having to take anyone else into consideration
Biggest downside: Having no where to put our luggage

Plan B - going there with a tour
inclusive of transporation, Souvereign Hill and Gold Musuem tickets $68 + $4 tip for the tour guide
Biggest advantage: We'd arrive right in front of the Gold Museum and wouldn't need to purchase our tickets in a queue. We could opt to drop out from the tour at any point of the day to follow our activities but the other travel destination (ie a visit to a winery) would
 not be refunded.

Eventually, we went with PLAN B. Thinking it's the easier way out! 

In summary, our travel itinery will be something like this:

Day 1:
Get on the bus at Lonsdale Street >> Gold Museum >> Souvereign Hill >> our AirBnb place >> Dinner at Pizzeria >> Recharge for the next day

Day 2:
Breakfast at a local cafe >> Lake Wendouree >> Tour the Ballarat City >> Lunch >> Back to pick up luggage >> To train station to go back to Melbourne city




After rambling about this trip for so long, now we are finally in the tour bus.





 
It took about 1-1.5 hours to get there. I didn't keep track of the time because I was too busy Snapchatting away.
 



Our first stop was Gold Museum




The Gold Museum acts as the extension of the majestic story of the city of gold, Sovereign Hill in the 1850s.





The tour guide told us the story about how the migrants arrived in Victoria and started the gold mining business.




 

The gold museum's not really big. Prolly around 45 mins will suffice.






 



 


Golden nuggets. Can I just have one of these and I wouldn't need to work forever.
 












 


 





 



 

 



 

 




This light house kinda thing's really amusing in the middle of no where.


 



We were not allowed to take any photos in the souvenir shop of the gold products so I could only take a photo with the lavender teddy bear. The souvenir shop sells a great selection of fine jewelry and giftware BUT my advice is not buy any souvenir BEFORE you head to all of the souvenir shops in Sovereign Hill. Just in case you'd have to carry all the shopping items around. 


Gold Museum Ballarat
Bradshaw St, Ballarat Central VIC 3350
(03) 5337 1107





Next stop to Souvereign Hill! There will be crazy lots of photos coming up stay tuned!

Friday, January 6, 2017

2016 In A Nutshell

2016 was a major roller coaster for me!

So much had happened and I can't believe how much one year could change one's life, well at least that's true for me!

On the 2nd of January, the night before I went back to work officially, I couldn't sleep despite being in bed since 11pm. I rolled around until 12am and decided that I should do a little recap on my 2016 since I had nothing better to do than kicking my blanket in frustration. 

So here it is, a quick glance of my 2016:
1. Getting over the past toxic relationship
It took a lot of tears, frustration, anger, grief and stress for me to finally let go off what's killing. The process hurt a lot but it's much better than being in the self-destructive cycle that goes on forever. Thanks to all of my friends who listened to my ramblings and dealt with my nonsense patiently all the time despite me being a repetitive whiner in life. I wouldn't have done it without you guys ♥  


2. Got my first job out of university

Never had I imagined how stressful the job search process would be in my entire life. I had to be a joy-killer but the saying that the time you become a fresh grad is the time you become officially unemployed. Especially for us international students struggling to secure a job in Australia with no PR, it just seemed SO impossible. With majority of the friends leaving the Australia and heading back home for good, I couldn't stop doubting myself. "Am I choosing the right path?", "Why do I have to put myself into such difficult situation and will it be worthy eventually?", "Will I be forever unemployed and unwanted by anyone?" My confidence and self-esteem were at the lowest of their lowest!
Thank goodness I met a lot of helpful people along the way who tried to help me with everything and I finally landed myself a job in a bank! Colleagues and managers are incredibly nice people too who make me feel accepted and belonged. I'm ultimately thankful for that ♥ They taught me so much and I've learnt to deal with things through trial and error or just braving myself up in handling different types of customers etc.
This was the BEST thing that had ever happened to me in 2015!


3. Started and developed my gym rituals 


I started hitting the gym with Erica somewhere around March or April just for the sake of escaping the reality. The job search process was killing me and with the constant pressure that my mom put on me, I really didn't know how to release my stress. In amidst of denial, I fell in love with the idea of leaving my phone and going to the gym with my iPod only so I'd be cut off from the outside world. Erica was in denial of studying for her exams and doing her assignments thus we became gym buddies for quite some time.

It wasn't until she went to New Zealand for her graduation trip, she quit our gym rituals. From that time onwards, I signed a gym membership, which is definitely something that I have never ever thought I would do because I never liked exercising let alone spending so much money on gym.

Growing up I always hated exercising because I hate sweating (I still do though) but now if I don't go to the gym I would feel shitty. Thanks to this new developed habit I have finally achieved something that I didn't even dare to dream of: a 22-inch waist! ♥☺ That's the biggest pay off that I'm really proud of myself and I'm still working hard to maintain this!

4. Passed my PTE test with all band 8

5. First time being able to afford splurging on luxury possessions for myself - new handbags AND a camera!!!! Now I know why people say the best feeling is spending the money you earn yourself on the things you love without depending on anyone. Am I getting nearer to the legit adult life?! hmmmm....


6. Getting out of my comfort zone / Trying new things


I've been much more opened to meeting friends of friends although I would be mentally afraid of any sort of potential awkwardness; offering to help out for free at my favourite florist; making conversations with random people; going to a club with a Michael Jackson theme. 

Another thing was...dancing solo at company parties in front of my colleagues, even those who I don't know at all. Gangnam Style was the dance that my mom loves to see me do whenever we go to karaokes together and all the while it's something that I do exclusively for her. Somehow...I had the guts to do it in front of a bunch of people and it has now become my signature dance in the company LOLZ!


7. Went to concerts - I will always have this on my yearly recap I suppose! :P


Saw some of the singers that I really love in Melbourne, namely: Sam Tsui & Kurt, Tiffany Alvord and Mike Tompkins. 



On top of that, I also saw Orianthi for the second time in my life in Melbourne with her partner Richie Sambora (
read here)

8. First time planning and travelling with a friend (blog post coming soon)


Had been talking about doing a trip to Ballarat for quite some time but never had a chance to do it. When I was having a really stressful time in November, I told Chern that we should just not overthink and overplan it and just GO! So, we went for a 2 days and 1 night trip over the weekend for a mini getaway!!


9. Visited Gold Coast (blog post coming soon)


Mommy flew over from Malaysia to Gold Coast and I met her there. Ever since I graduated from university in 2015, I had never asked for a penny from my mom while I stayed in Australia and this time around, I actually could give her some money for shopping. Although it's not a significant sum of money, I believe as I work hard down the road I will be able to provide more and more to her and the rest of the family! AJA AJA HWAITING! 


10. Enrolled in CFA level 1 

No matter how much I hate studying especially now that I am out of university, the idea of studying is much more a pain in the ass than it was previously. Yet, life's about "you gotta do what you gotta do", Fingers crossed that I'd pass!!!


11. First time experiencing the death of someone I love (read here)

When the news first broke out, I had a really really hard time accepting and dealing with the passing of Christina Grimmie. I cried my eyes out day and night and didn't know what to do...I guess, time truly heals everything. Although whenever I see her Youtube videos I will feel a pierce in my heart, I have stopped crying and started to appreciate and be thankful for all the legacy she had left behind for us.

12. Started to enjoy and be appreciative towards the small little things in life

As much as I love some occasional extravagant stuffs in my life, I have grown to enjoy the limited downtime that I have nowadays seeing my life is either at work or at the gym. Small little things like a lavender essential oil that makes my room smell heavenly, fairy lights, the cup of coffee which brings me alive etc are also the things that I realise that happiness doesn't have to come with a big price tag all the time (though I still love shopping).


Wonder what 2017 will have for me?!

I don't know what the future has for me but I do know that there are a couple of big tasks that I just HAVE TO complete by this year. I'll keep that to myself for now and work hard on it! Wish me luck~


ALL THE BEST in 2017 to YOU who's currently reading this blog post!