Showing posts with label musings. Show all posts
Showing posts with label musings. Show all posts
Wednesday, 25 April 2018

Dear You


Dear You,

I am no longer seeing red. Actually, it was a little blue after the encounter. But now it has reverted back to the natural state where I don't see any colour when I think of you.
Thursday, 22 March 2018

I Don't Love My Job & That's Okay


If I had a dollar for every time I was exposed to the message that I should pursue my passions, well, I wouldn't have needed to get a job!
"Do what you love and you will never have to work a day in your life!"
Sure, I was passionate about a lot of things - I loved watching TV, reading, eating breakfast food for dinner and subsisting on potato. But could I create a career out of those 'passions'?

And the better question was - should I?

Friday, 22 December 2017

2017 Recap

Looking back...

If I could use one word to describe 2017 it would be re-calibration. Halfway through the year, I finally - FINALLY - switched jobs, much to my relief. My energy was no longer focused on one thing (aka getting the heck out of there) and I was able to take a step back and reassess my life. I no longer dread Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

Friday, 1 December 2017

Summer Plans


Summer* is just around the corner and I am so bloody excited. I always have a whinge about the mandated office closure, but I am looking forward to it as I desperately need the break. I have been feeling a little off for the past few months - funnily enough, it coincided with the post about my mental health journey - and I haven't managed to shake the feeling off. There is a part of me which thinks that I am burnt out. This would be partly attributable to the project that I am stuck in and also the fact that it has been a long and tiring year.

The forced leave will effectively wipe out my entire accrued annual leave balance. Nonetheless, I will try to make the most of the time I have off despite the fact that it is peak season and also uber hot in most areas of Australia.

I originally wanted to hire a car and do another multi-day roadtrip to Liverpool Plains for sunflowers. However, as it was a dry winter/spring in NSW, the farmers were unable to plant any sunflower crops (but there might be cotton fields I can visit next April!). Therefore my "summer" will be dedicated to daytrips from Sydney in pre-2015 style. Aka before I realised I could kind of drive a car and depended on public transport to get to places.

I have a few ideas but it will depend on the weather. Here's to hoping it won't be 30+ degrees!

* Summer equates to holidays in my mind which is sadly a thing of the past as I am no longer a student.
Tuesday, 10 October 2017

My Mental Health Journey Thus Far


I never thought that I would still be alive at this age. In fact, there was a point when I believed that I wouldn't see my 22nd birthday. But here I am today and it has been a long and tough journey.

My struggle with depression started during my final years of high school. It was as though a switch was flicked on; at the time the difference between 'before' and 'after' was so distinct. I never fully understood why or what had changed within. But I was changed.

It will get better once I finish high school.
It will get better once I get into university.
It will get better once I go on exchange.
It will get better once I finish university.
It will get better once I get an internship.
It will get better once I get a job.
It will get better once I .....

Thursday, 5 October 2017

Finding the Beauty in Simplicity

Untitled

Untitled

It has taken me a while but I have finally learnt to appreciate and enjoy the little and, arguably, mundane things in my life. As much as I want to be adventuring on the weekends, I am now content to spend that time doing routine activities. These activities include, inter alia, grabbing a teh tarik from the food court, helping my boyfriend wash his car and even shopping for groceries to meal prep for the coming week.

Thursday, 28 September 2017

Monthly Recap: September



September is synonymous with spring cleaning and I finally FINALLY got around to modifying my blog layout. This involved trawling through the CSS to fix all the little things that have irked me for months. I also attempted to tidy my labels / tags which resulted in a walk down memory lane. There were some things that I thought only happened relatively recently when in fact they occurred almost 4 years ago! An attempt was also made to consolidate all my photos across various computers onto my HDD which was an interesting experience. I stumbled upon some "artsy" selfies taken when I was 18 years old haha.

Thursday, 14 September 2017

Life Lessons from Job Hunting


For the vast majority of people, job hunting is an inevitable process to be undertaken a few times in their life. Gone are the days of staying in an organisation for many years or even decades. The national average tenure in Australia for a job is currently 3.3 years. Unless you are one of the select few - executives / senior managers / someone with connections / industry where supply < demand - job hunting sucks. I believe that this is especially the case for people who are starting off in their career and just trying to get their foot into ANY door.

I have been through the job hunting process twice and there are a few lessons I have learnt along the way. A lot of these lessons aren't confined to the job hunting process itself but are applicable to life in general.

1. Expect Nothing

When I was a fresh-out-of-uni graduate, I applied for many roles and almost always got a auto-generated rejection. However in my second experience, it was incredibly rare to get a response from anyone. I would submit my application, it would end up in the ether and I would never hear about it again. Well that is until I saw the same job get relisted a month or two later. Eventually I discovered from colleagues that this was quite common (but why, isn't it simply common courtesy?) and I was being unrealistic in my expectations.

Perhaps it is a coping mechanism, but setting the bar really low means that something as simple as having HR send a generic email exceeds expectations. On the flip side, remember that they have to sift through a dozen to a few hundred applicants. Applying for a job may mean the world to you but at the end of the day, it simply doesn't have the same level of importance for the company.
Friday, 1 September 2017

Monthly Recap: August

For the first time in years, I am not stressed out about the fact that the end of the year is fast approaching. In fact, I am looking forward to December and also the coming year. It has taken me a while, but I am finally super content with where I am in life.

Assyrian mixed plate - the most delicious meat hidden underneath the bread

Apart from some stress / anxiety at work, it has been a really good month. Also, I am almost up-to-date with my blog and don't have any scheduled posts. This is also a first as I have been scheduling posts for the past year now.

Went to my first AFL match, free tickets courtesy of work. It was absolutely freezing. 
Monday, 28 August 2017

An Open Letter to my Exes


It surprises me that I didn't have an aneurysm during the two months that we spent in Europe. Although I must admit that on the morning of our departure back to Sydney, I did yell in exasperation, "I am glad you didn't buy a Swiss knife otherwise I would have stabbed you". We were so incompatible. Looking back, I realise that I had someone else in my life who was stirring the pot and I cannot completely fault you for acting the way that you did. It wasn't all doom and gloom though. You taught me to not be so frugal and also suggested a visit to Turkey, a country that I had never thought I would visit but has become one of my favourites. To this day, I am surprised that you paid me back for the Europe trip. I had covered your costs (~$4k) and we broke up before payment; I had tried to accept that I might never recoup the costs actually. It was only two years later that I plucked up the courage to go through my bank statement to aggregate all the small payments made.

Tuesday, 1 August 2017

Monthly Recap: July

June 2017

July was a fairly quiet month. Apart from the bushwalk at the Royal National Park, my weekends were generally non-eventful.

  • I have been getting a little bit restless and have been wanting to travel again. More specifically, I am really wanting to go on another roadtrip by myself. There is just something about being on the open road with fields and paddocks stretching out to the horizon. Perhaps I am just feeling a little bit trapped. I just find it so much easier to slow my monkey-mind and enjoy the present moment when I am in nature / middle of nowhere. The rat race is a real thing.
  • I have almost been in my 'new' job for three months and I was informed that I passed probation. The job is a bit of a weird one; as they say, 'you can pick your friends but you can't pick your colleagues'.
  • Last month I uninstalled Instagram from my phone and I don't feel like I will reinstall for the near future. I haven't been as lost without it as I thought I would. Although I must admit I have installed it twice and removed it within an hour because I wanted to check / stalk something. I simply don't have the will power to have it installed but limit my usage! However, I have recently created another Twitter account so add me if you would like! There was a part of me that thought I had substituted one social media platform for another but my usage on it is fairly low. I also have a Snapchat (typicalovestory) account if anyone wants to add me on it.
  • A few weeks ago it was announced that Pandora would no longer work in Australia & New Zealand. I am devastated! I have been using Pandora for the past 5 years and adore it. I am now transitioning to Spotify. I didn't like Spotify originally which is why I went to Pandora, but that was 5 years ago and I am sure it has changed dramatically since then. Hopefully it serves my needs!
  • In the past two months, I've tried to re-connect with people who used to play a big part in my life. However, all this affirmed was the reason as to why we moved apart. It also made me reflect on a few different relationships and whether or not they really have a place in my life anymore.


How was your July?
Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Weekend Colour Palette: Blue

I spend a lot of my life on public transport; commuting to and from work and also to meet up with my boyfriend. I suppose that sounds a little depressing however, as I don't have a car, it is the cheapest form of transportation. The blue seats on the bus are so familiar to me.



▪▪▪

I must admit, there are moments when I find Sydney to be quite dull; the urban sprawl and the rat race starts to feel a little claustrophobic. However, the weekend is the time when I reconnect, see and appreciate the beauty in this wonderful city.


Friday, 30 June 2017

Monthly Recap: June


  • The months of June and July are always a bit of an odd period for me. I am usually susceptible to having low and existential moments but it is always a little harder to shake off at this time. I think it is largely because it is the halfway mark of the year and I question if I have achieved anything for the year. It is also exacerbated by the fact it is the anniversary of my mother's death and then I wonder about my own life and my own existence. Death doesn't scare me but what scares me is thinking that I will be on my death bed and realising that my life has amounted to nothing. That I have done nothing and I haven't lived life to the fullest. In comparison to last year, that fear hasn't controlled me as much. As mentioned in my resolutions, I wanted to slow down in 2017 and to accept that every activity that I do doesn't need to be productive and valuable
  • I have been finding it a little hard to do work at work. I am doing enough to get by. But the motivation has been a little hard to come by. My only work friend / colleague resigned earlier this month. Well, she was pushed out effectively. I worry about my own future at the company and if I will pass probation.
  • My trip to Canberra over the long weekend was lovely. I really enjoyed Canberra and think it is actually a beautiful city. Canberra definitely isn't as bad as people say it is. Sure, it may not have as much happening as Sydney, but the things that happen in Sydney aren't exactly up my alley. I would actually love to move out of Sydney at some point to somewhere quieter. But alas, jobs.
  • I am going on a shopping ban for the rest of the year. The only exception to this ban are necessities such as socks, underwear, shampoo, etc. I am not very spend-y overall however I would like to be at a point where I am saving approximately 75% of my pay.
  • As of 2 weeks ago, I've uninstalled my Instagram and would like to maintain this ban for the month of July. I deactivated Facebook a few months ago to curb my mindless scrolling. This was relatively easy as I wasn't an active user. However I really felt that I needed to curb my time on Instagram. I got sucked into and spent so much time scrolling mindlessly / stalking and really want to do something more productive with my time.
How was your June? 
Monday, 8 May 2017

Learnings

Tasmania 2017

Between jobs I took one week off to resume my roadtrip in Tasmania. At the end of last year, my trip to Tasmania was cut short due to a car accident. I knew that this would the only opportunity to take some time off this year (apart from the mandated Christmas closure). I had originally written another post to sum up my trip but decided to scrap it as it was a tad negative. I am quite a negative person naturally which, if I am being quite honest, doesn't bother me too much most of the time. But there are moments (like the present) where I want to work on it a little more.

Tasmania 2017

My trip to Tasmania did not go to plan. This time round, I did manage to complete the entire trip without any major mishaps. But it felt that there was a lot of bad luck. I am not a big believer of things happening for a reason, but I do believe that everything that happens has a place. Whether that is because of timing (similar to the idea of fate) or whether it is to teach and develop me into someone more capable for events in the future. Is the latter still fate? I don't believe so as it involves a conscious effort to view everything as a ~learning~. Even if that learning sucks. If I was to view the trip objectively, it would be a lesson in being flexible and more laissez faire. It also reaffirmed that I am capable of looking after myself by myself.

On a slightly more positive note, this post contains some stunning panoramas I captured on my phone since my camera was chucking a tantrum (it randomly stopped working halfway through my Tassie trip but now magically works again back in Sydney).

Tasmania 2017

Thank you for all your comments / advice on my previous post. I sometimes think I am a little crazy as I am often in two minds when it comes to the mental side of things. It is sometimes challenging to reconcile between what I am feeling and the rational side of things, where I try to tell / comfort myself that I shouldn't really be feeling whatever it is that I am feeling.

On a side note, I cringe when I hear the word 'learning'. My former boss was incompetent in one of our projects and then tried to pin all the shortcomings on me and claimed it would be a learning. For. Me. Hmm.
Friday, 5 May 2017

Disappointment


One of my most annoying traits is believing that people actually mean what they say. I suppose it is because I am quite selective in my words, only make promises that I know I can keep and I try to be as genuine as possible. If I have an interaction with someone I don't particularly like the conversation usually goes as follows: They: "We should hang out again", Me: "Yeah sure maybe". What this usually results in is that I say a lot of vague words and sentences. But something I have realised a long time ago is that people say things, simply to say things. You would think that this is something I would have concreted in my mind by now and yet it hasn't. It slightly* upsets / hurts me a lot when I discover that people were just saying empty words.

For context, this is about work. Thinking that I did have some friends from my old work but now discovering who my actual friends are. Ah... life. I quite often feel like people just result in disappointment, but then at the same time I also don't particularly care.

This sounds like something I would write about during my highschool days, but hey, I think life is a lot like highschool at times. * I use the word slightly because it is those situations where it bothers me and it also doesn't (since I know it always happens). 
Monday, 17 April 2017

Thoughts from a Law Graduate Who is Not Working in Law


In the professional world, the most common question I have been asked is: why do you not work in law? For readers who do not know, I attained a Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Laws from university. This question is soon becoming the bane of my existence. It is the question that I get asked at job interviews (this is 100% guaranteed right after "so tell me about yourself") and when I introduce myself to colleagues. There are moments where I am bored of the question and then there are moments where I am frustrated to the point where I have seriously contemplated about tattooing my reasons of 'why not' on my forehead. Yno, to make life a little simpler.

In this day and age, I really do not understand why people are so concerned / interested as to why I haven't followed the traditional path of my university degree/s. I thought people loved to encourage others to stray from the beaten path! Why do people not question that I am not an accountant; in my business degree, I majored in accounting. I suppose the question also bothers me as it apparently is the most interesting thing about me! My work experience is not interesting nor the fact that I studied abroad! (I think it is also important to note that those who claimed that studying abroad would boost any CV is a liar. It is such a dime a dozen thing these days and definitely not unique). Or perhaps they (specifically interviewers) think they are asking me a tricky question that will throw me off guard. Ha, keep dreaming.

This post was inspired by my interview recently where, yet again, the question was asked. I have fine tuned my highly rehearsed and almost robotic response now! I am 2 years post graduation, have been in my first 'big girl' job and am applying for similar roles based on my experience from that job and YET people still ask me. Relevance?

P.S For those who are interested, I did not pursue law simply due to lack of opportunities and for the sake of my mental health (read: I was receiving far too many rejections, to the point where my self worth couldn't handle it anymore). But that is not my official reason, I have a better spin-doctor-y answer instead. Do I have regrets that I don't work in law? None at all. I look forward to the day where this insignificant fact is not the most interesting thing about me!
Friday, 3 March 2017

Farewell Summer


The days are getting shorter and the nights are getting cooler (for now). Summer is officially over. I have been living a post student life for 2 years now and the only thing I miss about it are the 4 month long university summer holidays. I suppose it is a bit ridiculous for me to lament about the freedom, the adventures I took, summer romances and all other cliches because I spent almost all my summers working full time at my retail job. And yet, I somehow miss it. Perhaps it is attributable to feelings of dissatisfaction that have been creeping up on me. Or perhaps it is the fact that my job has made me quite jaded.


Nonetheless, I welcome autumn. Or should I say marginally cooler weather. Sydney does not do autumn as well as other places. It is less distinctive as a season and simply blurs into winter quite seamlessly as winters here are incredibly mild. I am looking forward to spending time in bed curled up with a good book and a cup of tea. I am looking forward to experiencing the world around me slow down a little. I am looking forward to, hopefully, squeezing in a roadtrip to see the change of leaves. And I am looking forward to spending some more time to figure some things out.

Last ice cream of summer!
Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Homebound


The journey back home is usually quite bittersweet. I am generally happy to return for the simple luxuries such as my amazing shower and my bed; I did invest in 1000 TC and linen sheets for a reason. This time round, I am quite excited to be heading back home. I have been missing home a lot on this trip which is an unusual feeling. In fact, I don't think I have ever experienced it before this strongly. I started feeling it on my last days in Mongolia and moreso during my stint in Hong Kong.

I have a overnight flight where I am hoping that I will be able to doze and will land in Sydney at 11am. I am somewhat ready to get back to that life, to sort out things and to catch up with a few people that I have missed dearly.

Being the person that I am, 95% of my photos from my trip have been edited and uploaded to my Flickr. All I need to do is write the posts . If you are interested in my photos please follow me on Instagram at natpkho as I will be uploading my photos there in the coming few days.
Friday, 19 August 2016

Ramblings on a Plane

Disclaimer: I am writing this on a flight and this is chattier and more rambl-y than normal.


Hi, I am Natalie and I love to travel. However, something that most people don't know about me is that I experence quite bad plane anxiety. Except for budget airlines - read: European airlines like Ryanair - I will be one of the last to board the plane. Not the very last one but I really don't see the need to be on a plane any longer than what I need to. Now, why am I in the beginning for those budget airlines, purely because I need to carry my large-ish backpack onboard and need to stealthily stow my luggage in the overhead compartments. It starts the moment I walk onto the tunnel and I start to smell the airplane smell which grosses me out a lot. It really annoys me that the smell permeates into all my clothing and into every pore.

Living in Australia definitely has its perks and appeals but the most annoying thing is that it takes a trek and a half to get anywhere. As at the time I am writing this, I am 3 hours into a 9 hour flight to Hong Kong and I am still flying over the Northern Territory in Australia. Hello! But I will shortly be saying adios to Australia and welcoming hours and hours of ocean!

I know that some people use the plane to catch up on movies and things of that nature, but with my anxiety I find it really uncomfortable to be watching a movie. From the numerous flights I have caught since 2012, I honestly cannot recall a single movie that I have watched.

What Does Natalie Do on a Flight?

  • Listen to the music on the flight. I am currently a little disappointed with the selection on Cathay Pacific; Virgin Atlantic has had the best! However they do have Maddie & Tae which I am loving.
  • Reading - I just finished a novel however I find it hard to immediately jump to another novel. I have to be listening to music as I am reading, more for background noise than anything.
  • I take off my shoes. Controversial! Of course, I have clean socks. I like to sit on my feet and for night flights, I do a half assed feotal curl sleeping position. On the topic of feet, the person sitting next to me also has her shoes off and sits on her feet more than I do which is impressive! For a while she was doing this squat on her chair which I believe would feel amazing.
  • I always have my backpack / bag at my feet to elevate. Being short does have its perks on a flight, namely legroom and ability to curl! However it does mean it isn't super comfortable to have my feet on the ground.
  • I try to not pee often / at all / maybe once only. The toilet freaks me out and I try to mentally forget that I am on a plane; I try to stay in my window seat and forget that I am only a few thousand of kms up in the air. Told ya, I have anxiety and my coping mechanism has been music and trying to pretend that I am not on a plane.
  • Think about everything in my life
  • On the topic of my last dot point, I have realised that for almost all my overseas / domestic trips since 2012 - truth be told, I only started travelling in 2012 - I have always had a partner. Each occassion has been a different partner, but there has always been someone waiting at home. Isn't that weird!

I am now off to write a few blog posts, namely Tinder dates.

Ah - I see the ocean now. Almost to Hong Kong now! Not. It kind of concerns me that I want to go to South America and Africa in the next 10 years. How will I survive the flight/s? I do not know.
Wednesday, 11 November 2015

My Biggest Pet Peeve: Lack of Accountability

There is a quote by C.S. Lewis:

'Isn't it funny how day by day nothing changes, but when you look back, everything is different.'

I think it describes adulthood perfectly. More often than not, I think that I am the same person that I have always been. But in reality, I am remarkably different to 14 year old Natalie who first started blogging or in fact even 21 year old Natalie. If there is one thing I can say about myself is that I am more sure and confident of who I am, what I want in life and what I want out of the people who are in my life.

People may say that I am quite demanding and aggressive at times. I am largely a very easy going person. However there is one thing that irks me and that is the lack of accountability from people. Over the years, I have cut ties with quite a few people predominately due to their narcissism and their lack of accountability for their own actions. I shall illustrate this in four examples just from this year:

1) Sunbear
I believe that life is a series of choices and it is important to know that. I don't eat out at the trendiest food places in Sydney because I would much rather save that money for travelling. I would much rather spend that $25 for a bus ticket overseas. And that is my choice. This individual has consistently asserted his poor financial situation, which is not the problem. The problem arises when money is spent on studying in Switzerland (a super expensive country), visiting Cambodia, London and roadtrip-ing in Europe and is currently completing a 6 month internship in Atlanta, Georgia. But then claiming that there is no money and that is why 'I would love to visit Australia but I have no money'. That is a poor, poor excuse. Money is not the issue and that excuse always irked me.

I guess the final straw that broke the camel's back happened last night. Sunbear has been absent from my life for the past 3 months due to starting a new life in Atlanta. That was fine. My problem arose when he started messaging me (after a lack of communication when I tried to reach out) and his irritation when I didn't respond promptly. Ridiculous. Absurd. Infuriating.

Now where does the lack of accountability step in? The fact that I was the one who was allegedly overreacting, that it was my incorrect interpretation of the situation and using my feelings and not facts (have you heard of a more sexist comment?). I accept that I may have slightly overreacted but I stand by my principle and to not have accountability for one's actions and rather blame other people. Now that is absurd. It takes two to tango.

2) Fellow Grad
As hinted before, I had a recent issue with my fellow graduate. This person has always irked me but it was fine. Different personality; I find it hard to respect people who have no backbone. Recently for selfish reasons, he extended his defined rotation cycle and only informed me after the fact. Why does this impact me? It means that my rotation cycle is now affected as I was meant to move into the place he is currently at. At a high level, this was only a slight annoyance.

Now where does the lack of accountability step in? This happened when I asked why he didn't inform me when he was seeking the approval rather than telling me after the fact. Excuses. Excuses by the boatload started pouring in, also insinuating that I was overreacting (which I was not as I asked the one question) and in reality, he claims that his actions didn't have an impact. Bull. Shit. I would much rather he have taken ownership and accountability and stated that he did it and 'I thought it was best to tell you after the approval'. Rather, the 'blame' was shifted to his manager, his team blah blah blah and in reality, he had no part to play in the whole thing. Of course, this was consistent with his personality but unfuriating nonetheless.

As it is a colleague I will of course remain cordial and professional. Prior to this, we were half casual friends (the kinda but not really category). I have since cut out the friend component of the equation and we are purely work.

3) Ex
If there are three words to describe my ex it would be: lack of accountability. Lack of accountability for his finances, his education, his studies and everything else under the sun. Not much to elaborate except that is the epitome of someone who has no ownership or accountability for their own life.

4) V
I don't know him at all. Whatsoever. Perhaps it is his own insecurity but when I called him out on being promiscuous he got so offended and upset. Angry even. Why? To me it is as simple as this: you've made your bed, now lie in it. If you don't want people to know that you sleep around? Then don't tell people. Or better yet, don't sleep around. If you do sleep around, then embrace it! Own it!

What is your biggest pet peeve?