well, this is me.

This one is a more personal entry. I’ve been sharing about travels lately. It’s nice to see but I’m also at a point in my career where I feel vulnerable. I’ll take a break to share this.

The past few weeks I have shown how strong I can be. (Completely rephrased from my original thought process of “I feel scared”).

In my role at work, I have been navigating a space of both uncertainty and promise. Uncertainty since it’s a contract role and promise because I’ve invested time to learn. There’s a lot I still don’t know but I try each day. Really, I try.

There are times I feel vulnerable and easily disenchanted. How is success measured in the role? Is it based on a set of metrics? Are these metrics accurate? Is it fair to be measured or compared to another person… say, a high-performing colleague or team? Is the role actually a challenging one when it comes to measurement in general? Am I getting a fair evaluation?

It’s a role thing. I’m enjoying the company I get to work for. I’m doing soul-searching. And I’m trying to take every learning and applying it. I have to accept I won’t be able to please everyone. I’m trying each day to focus on what matters. To prioritise. But I don’t want to suffer mentally just to fit in. I care for myself and I love myself enough to stop, breathe, and relax.

I put myself on this journey and I’m going to see it through. I won’t look at things as a failure but rather as an opportunity to optimise. Or realise. Really now… I’ve picked up new tricks. Amazing new ways of thinking. I now know how to tie projects and creatives to business needs. My manager taught me this and it’s the biggest takeaway.

And it’s okay if it’s not something I want to end up pursuing in the long term. I am aware of my strengths and skills. If I could somehow combine all the creativity and all the analytics.

I won’t be tied down to a ticking clock. To a time limit. I’ve lived quite fortunate the past thirteen or fourteen years. I’ve had it pretty good.

Funny to write this to myself. But hang in there! You’re 35 in 2020. It’s a new decade and you have the liberty and power to do whatever you want. Hindi na kailangan sumiksik sa mga lugar kung san ka nahihirapan or napipilitan lamang. It’s your path to take, your own path. Not the same path as those around you.

What advice would you give your younger self when it comes to failing forward or learning?

In the studio. On the stage.

I have a friend who’s a hairstylist. His name is Johan. I had no idea his hairstylist nickname was simply, Han. I also had no idea he was working at the hair salon that I enthusiastically booked last Thursday. I wanted to try a new place to get a haircut.

It’s the first time I get my hair done by someone I actually know.

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Running into Johan at the hair salon.

During the hair washing portion, it felt like 10 minutes of gossiping about each other’s lives. I enjoyed it because… well… Han was one of a handful of people who were there for me when I was struggling in early 2018. I remember getting invited to watch him perform in drag. He’d share videos of his performances at a church event. Then, he competed in Drag Wars. Today, he’s part of a drag house in Singapore.

And last Saturday, he landed a gig which was to perform as part of RIOT! drag revue by Becca D’Bus. I feel like I’ve seen him grow and find his art.

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Watching Opal perform at Hard Rock Cafe.

He’s been through quite a bit in his life. But he’s turned that into art. He fixes hair and makes people happy. He performs on stage to express himself as Opal… contributing to the growing modern drag scene in Singapore.

Inspiring.

A year later.

Bondi Lookout in Sydney, Australia (September 2019).

October 15, 2019 marks my first year at LinkedIn.

Honestly, I don’t know how long I’ll have an opportunity to work at this great company. I’m just grateful it’s taught me SO much. On various levels! On a professional level, I’m learning about content marketing, reporting, measurement, optimisation, and truckloads of acronyms (which sum up even more learnings) across two business lines. On a personal level, I’m learning how to manage stakeholders, develop a stronger voice, and other interpersonal skills that have me at my farthest from my comfort zone.

Quite a number of challenges but I’ve learned from them. And we look at challenges as opportunities at growth. I have that growth mindset and I’m using it to overcome any doubts I have as I try new things.

Thankful in one year I’ve seen Dublin twice, San Francisco, and Sydney. Through those business trips I’ve had stopovers in London, Tokyo, Paris, and Frankfurt. I’ve met loads of amazing people from diverse backgrounds. I get to work with a team that’s young and eager to teach me new things.

Our trip to the Botanic Gardens.

Ah, yes. The Singapore Botanic Gardens. It’s probably the very heart of the garden city. Sadly, I’ve almost forgotten about it. I frequent Marina Bay, Tiong Bahru, the Singapore River, and places like Fort Canning. But the Botanic Gardens? It’s slightly further away.

We had a couple of reasons to visit the Botanic Gardens this past weekend. But the reasons weren’t really urgent or compelling. Maybe we just wanted some fresh air. Maybe we wanted to spend time doing something different and… well, free.

The Botanic Gardens was a little dry this time around. There hasn’t been much rain recently and you can see it in the greenery. They look a little thirsty! Still beautiful… the space dedicated to plant life.

The rest in photos. 🙂

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Love, G

7 October 2019.

I’ve an awful amount of writing to do.

There have been changes at work recently. It’s great I get to travel. But I’ve been doing plenty of thinking about the direction I’m headed. I’m learning so much and I work with great people. But I want to go where I feel stronger and more confident.

I’ve a few things to unload onto my blog. I hope I can get to them soon. In the meantime, I have some photos to share.

Starting with a trip to Swee Choon in Jalan Basar with my boyfriend and his flatmates. It’s kinda rare we get to go out together. In fact, I think I was the one who initiated it. I’m happy the gang was pretty much game for dumplings.

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Dumpings at Swee Choon. Pretty tasty and quick to serve.

Another photo I’d like to share is from Paul’s condo in Kallang. With my dragon boat team out of the picture these days… my social circle has been reduced greatly. The most meaningful interaction I get are with my college friends.

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Damn this view. Even better than Marina Bay Sands.

In September, my brother had a business trip in Bangkok… which was an opportunity for the family to follow him there for a weekend. It was a pretty quick weekend but we managed to stuff it with as many things as possible like a Thai cooking class, a private day trip to Ayutthaya, some night market shopping (barely, barely… it was raining and we were tired). At least we managed to squeeze in our annual trip.

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With the family in Ayutthaya.

A day later I flew down to Sydney, Australia for a team offsite. It’s my first time down under… and my first time that far into the Southern Hemisphere.

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Our hotel was at the foot of Sydney Harbour Bridge. It’s the most beautiful bridge I’ve seen so far.

Of all my offsites, it was probably the most enjoyable. Well-paced. Lots of learnings. And ample ‘extra’ time to explore Sydney and its neighbouring areas.

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With Michele and Eugene at Bondi Lookout.

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With Krutika and her husband Sarteck at Surry Hills.

I’ll be blogging more about Australia very soon.

Lastly, for this quick update… my boyfriend. ❤

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With PJ at River Valley. After we saw Joker at GV Grand in Great World City.

We’ve been together for over 14 months now. I can’t believe that time has passed by that quickly. He’s teaching me patience. AND WAIT. That’s not a bad thing! Friends and family close to me would know that I can be impatient… bitchy, and moody. But with PJ, I’m learning to calm down, to chill, to think before I speak, to be more loving and kind. He has that effect on me. 🙂

***

I’d like to open up about my anxiety. I feel it’s peaked a little bit in the past two weeks.

 

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Love, George

Wishlist from September 2019

Things I want…

  1. GoPro 7 with a box full of accessories.
  2. iPad Pro with an Apple Pencil.
  3. Roundtrip SQ Premium Economy tickets to Tokyo.
  4. A 2-bedroom apartment setup with my boyfriend. The 2nd room is for guests and also serves as an office where I’ll take video calls from San Francisco.
  5. Permanent Residency status and the freedom to explore roles offered to citizens and permanent residents.
  6. A 2nd life insurance plan. Or an enhanced first plan.
  7. $800 shopping spree at Crate & Barrel.
  8. Real Estate Investment (a house in Cavite). It has to be near a school or a future commercial district.
  9. Dinner and drinks with my nearest and dearest friends. I’m thinking a boodle fight for good measure. And plenty of alcohol.
  10. Aesop collection.
  11. Certificates in digital marketing.

Switch!

Finally!

Two years ago I wrote and performed a rap song in the hopes I could win a Nintendo Switch at a company party. I failed. LOL. The top prize went to someone who wanted to dedicate company resources to a charity. How does one compete with that?

I didn’t get a chance to buy a Switch until today. The past few years involved leaving that previous job, getting accustomed to a new one, and virtually saving more money to prepare for the next chapter of my life (The States? Hong Kong? The Philippines?) in 2020.

I’ve wanted to treat myself to a new gadget for a while.

So… this is a birthday gift to myself. It’s also a reward for completing nine months in my current role. Excited to play this on the trains or while waiting at airports. ❤

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Nintendo Switch (Grey)

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Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Hard and thin cases.

I was waiting for an online promotion with Qisahn. Qisahn is one of the most trusted video game stores in Singapore. Because of the Great Singapore Sale and Shopee, they had coupons available. I can’t say I got a huge discount. But it was better than a $600 console.

These are some of the Nintendo Switch games I’m excited to play:

  • Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
  • Super Mario Odyssey
  • Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze
  • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
  • Cuphead
  • Super Mario Maker 2
  • Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
  • Pokemon Let’s Go!
  • New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe
  • Xenoblade Chronicles 2
  • Stardew Valley

Are you a gamer? Do you play on the Nintendo Switch? What are your recommendations?

Tampines, Singapore: 888 Mookata

PJ and I discovered an affordable mookata (think: Korean BBQ meets Chinese Hot Pot) near his block in Tampines.

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888 Mookata is part of a newly-renovated coffee shop at Block 820 Tampines Ave 81.

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888 Mookata sees a healthy crowd. Took this photo after 11pm sorry!

We were happy it’s open until 11:00 PM!

They offer a set for two people which is priced at SGD 26.00. That’s $13 each for a selection of meat, vegetable, and noodles. Not bad!

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A nice Saturday evening in Tampines with PJ.

There’s a set for four people priced at SGD 45.00. Maybe PJ’s flatmates Del and Gel can join next time. 🙂

888 Mookata has several branches in the city. Check out their Facebook here.

  • 888 Mookata
  • 820 Tampines Street 81, Singapore 520820
  • Open 12PM to 11PM