Words Words Words

Not too long ago, I had a mini-life crisis where I wondered what I was doing with my life; what are my goals, what have I achieved and how will I get there? And I realised that one ever present goal of mine was to become an author.

Fuelled by the feeling of YOLO (You Only Live Once), I pulled out my laptop, opened a Word document and started typing. The aim was to finish a 50,000 word novel in less than two weeks, with an aspirational target of 5,000 words per day. Even as I am typing this, I can’t help but scoff at myself, because:

  1. I quickly realised that 50,000 words is A LOT of words, and
  2. It’s not easy to write a novel

Nevertheless, I persisted. Each day, I would struggle with how to continue the storyline, but for over a week I still consistently met my writing target. I knocked out 2000 words, then 3000, 10000, 20000.. You get the drift.

I was inspired and pumped, and then, in the final two days before I could ‘finish’ my book, and write the last 10,000 words… I couldn’t think of anything else to write. Complete blank. Cue, serious writer’s block and the thought of not only scrapping the novel, but also the dream of becoming an author.

“Failure is a detour; not a dead-end street.”

Zig Ziglar

We’ve all seen the memes containing quotes similar to the above, telling us that the road to success is littered with failures. I comforted myself with that thought. But then, the little voice inside of my head, the one that says things I don’t want to hear, piped up and asked “Did you actually fail, though?”

I realised I hadn’t – because failure would require me to at least finish something and put myself out there. What I had done, though, was given up at the first hurdle.

So, here I am. Sitting in front my my laptop, editing and rewriting chunks of my novel, a daunting prospect. I don’t need it to be a blockbuster, I simply need to finish it; a story with a beginning, middle and end. And then refine it. And then write again, because practice makes perfect.

This is not a blog with a happy ending, this is a blog about a work in progress.

The only thing I have left to say is: big kudos to all authors out there – I have a newfound appreciation for your craft, and am in awe of your skill and creativity!

One Day When…

I like the age that I am; I like the experiences that I have gone through, the knowledge that I have gained – even the struggles that I have encountered. All these things have shaped me into a person that I like better today, more than I liked even two or three years ago.

But the one thing I don’t like about being in my late twenties is being single. Actually, more specifically, it’s not being single that’s the problem. It’s being the only remaining single person within my friend group.

It’s a weird thing to watch my friends getting married, buying houses and talking about having babies, whereas I’m single, flatting and wanting a fur-baby more than an actual baby. If life was a game, then it feels like they are rolling the dice and moving on to the next level, while I’m still stuck on the first stage.

I’m happy for them, but there is a niggle inside of me that I hate to even acknowledge – a niggle that says, “Hey, wait for me,” and “When is it my turn?”.

And then, on Sunday, I attended a sermon where the pastor preached two pertinent points:

  1. God gives us what we need (not necessarily what we want). Oftentimes the wait between out prayer being received and answered is what we need; this is where the work happens.
  2. “One day when…” mentality. This mentality is when we think, “One day when… (I get a new job/I get married/ I have kids, etc)…I will be happy”, and usually occurs when we are waiting for something that we want (or think we want).

Listening to that, I realised: that is me! Watching my close friends get married, buying houses, and have kids… they are things I had always wanted, but am now impatient to have, if only so that I can be in the same stage of life as them. I’ve gotten into the habit of thinking ,”one day when”. One day when I meet the right person, I will be this, or do that. I was stuck in a sort of purgatory, just waiting for what I wanted.

It made me realise that while what I want is a partner, what I need is personal growth – and maybe that is what this period of ‘waiting’ is intended to provide.

It’s easy for me to forget that you can’t rush life, especially as I can’t help but compare myself to my friends – I know that I shouldn’t, but knowing doesn’t mean I can automatically stop.

I think in those moments, what I need to remember is this: life is not linear, or a race.

Job Hunting

I feel like I have made a lot of changes this year… new phone, new car, new wardrobe, new flat, new hobbies. Next up: new job.

Or at least, I’m trying to find a new job. Turns out, it’s a lot easier said than done, because after 13+ applications over a month of searching, I have only heard back from one company – and said company then ghosted me after a 30 minute phone screening.

It’s been a while since I’ve had so much trouble landing even an interview, and it makes me wonder what I am doing wrong. Am I asking for too much money, do I not enough valid experience, or is my CV and cover letter just not good enough?

The last time I faced this much rejection was just before I entered my current company, fresh out of university. I remember the same feelings of frustration and hopelessness as application after application was turned down. Eventually, those feelings morphed into desperation, leading me to apply for a customer service position at Company X (I had worked in far too many customer service roles throughout university, and was steadfastly against entering another).

Life has a way of working out though, because that customer service position at Company X was the best role I could have hoped for out of university; it was a foot in the door at a major company, was so much more than ‘just’ customer services, and put me under the wings of a mentor who helped elevate my career.

So, yes, I am feeling frustrated again as each application appears to be a dead-end.

But I’m also hopeful that something better is waiting around the corner, because when one door is closed, another opens.

As I’ve said before in a previous post, I just gotta have faith (and a little patience)!

Defining Figures

Last night, I was reading my friend’s journal (with her permission), and she was writing about a really good friend of hers who had passed away. She didn’t know him for very long, but nevertheless, their friendship was deep and his impact on her life lasting.

This made me realise a couple of things:

  1. The strongest friendships aren’t always the longest ones
  2. You never know what kind of impact you may have on someone’s life

Quite often, I take for granted the effect that a comment or gesture may have on someone else. Something that I say as a passing remark may be stuck on record in someone else’s head. Something I don’t even remember doing may be an everlasting memory for someone else.

This was a timely reminder.

Birthday

I had my birthday last week! Another year older, another year wiser, and another year closer to thirty.

In light of that, this week instead of writing random rambles, I’m going to share with you some of the best life advice I have come across so far. These are quotes that I have copied into the back of my journal, and refer to when I’m having a tough time; I hope they can give you the same amount of perspective as they give me!

1. This too shall pass

2. If you won’t worry about it in 5 years, don’t worry about it now

3. You won’t regret failure, but you will regret not trying

4. The only time you should look at someone else’s bowl is to make sure they have enough

5. Always follow your gut

6. If you’re unhappy, you don’t need to upturn your whole life. Instead, add small bits of happiness and eventually it will be one big chunk.

I don’t have the authors of these quotes unfortunately, but please comment if you know them or if you have any advice of your own to share.

Have a good week!

Sae x

Happenstance

Definition of happenstance: a circumstance especially that is due to chance

Meriam Webster Dictionary

Do you believe in timing? Not timing as in the scheduling of meetings, or dinner dates, but the right timing for things to happen in your life?

For me personally, I have experienced a number of events that seemed like happenstance at the time, but as I look back and reflect, make me think that maybe, it has more to do with the right timing.

One fairly recent example of this is my breakup with a long-term partner. We had been in a relationship for almost 5 years. Things weren’t perfect, but they weren’t awful – I could see myself getting married to him, starting a family with him, growing old together. In my heart though, I knew that we weren’t right for each other. We loved each other, but our viewpoints on life were so different that we argued as much as we laughed.

Why stay? Because we had been together for so long, that both my family and his family expected us to – that future I could see for us was in part the weight of the expectations set out for us. I was also afraid – afraid of disappointing our families, afraid of being single again, afraid of not finding love again, afraid of the unknowns.

One night though, I happened to check his phone. Something I have never done before. And I found a message that I wasn’t meant to see. Long story short, we broke up.

I was sad, and angry – some of the things I was afraid of also eventuated; both our families were upset, I was single and feeling alone, and I didn’t know what the future held (I still don’t).

What I also felt though, was a giant sense of relief – a feeling that everything would be okay, and that this was the right decision; of all the rollercoaster of emotions faced, never once have I doubted this or regretted the choice.

What does this have to do with the right timing?

I have one unbreakable rule in a relationship: no cheating. I trust easily, but break that trust, and I find it difficult to rebuild.

If I had broken up with my ex over any other thing or argument we had in the past, I know I would have wondered “what if?”. I would have been stuck in a cycle of regret, pining after a fantasy version of him rather than being able to view it with a clear perspective. Instead, I broke up with him at the right time under the right circumstance.

And now? Even though I sometimes feel impatient about what the future holds, I also have a deep-seated sense of peace that I am exactly where I am meant to be for this season of my life.

Life isn’t always made of happy moments, but it helps to be reminded that everything happens for a reason at the right time (or, if you believe in God, His plan).

Just have a little faith.

I Pray

Not often I write posts about religion… it’s a topic I usually deem as too private or controversial to discuss publicly.

But this blog has always been a diary of sorts, where I write about what’s on my mind. And recently, as I settle into my journey of becoming a Christian, that is God.

I have always believed in God. Always known that there is a higher being, something more to this world than can be explained by science or reason.

I was hesitant, though, to explore and join a “religion”. I still am, because in many ways, “religion” divides rather than unites.

As a Christian, I believe God is real. The Bible is real. But I do think religions are formed by human interpretations of The Bible. And because humans are flawed, this is has resulted in wars being fought, prejudices being created and punishments being passed in “the name of God”.

As a Christian, I belive that God is love and to leave the judgement to Him.

That’s why I pray for a world that has no wars.

I pray for a world where people can accept one another, regardless of religion, gender, ethnicity.

I pray for a world where we don’t harm one another, but instead help each other.

I pray for a world bathed in God’s prescence, a world of love.

I pray.

Sae xo

Lockdown #4

Lockdowns are frustrating.

You can’t meet with friends and family, you can’t get takeouts, supermarket queues are insane, and good luck with finding flour.

But with the bad, comes the good.

Lockdown can be a time of reflection – it’s forced me to slow down, and build new habits (sometimes out of sheer boredom).

It allows you to reconnect with friends and family, even via online chats and video calls.

It makes us appreciate the little things we used to take for granted.

That being said, stay safe everyone.

Whoops – Life…

I slipped off the bandwagon again… and stopped updating regularly (although long-time followers will likely be thinking that this blog has never been updated regularly, which would be correct).

The past week has been crazy busy; I packed up all my things and moved into a new flat, have had a social commitments, work and, oh yeah, we have gone back into lockdown due to a community Covid-19 outbreak. So that’s been fun.

Let’s start with the moving. After three years living in my previous flat, I have found a new home. It’s a bit further out from the city, but has all the necessary amenities nearby (supermarket, laundromat, cafe etc). It took me three days to deep clean the room, unpack and get settled in, but I am loving my room. It’s a lot nicer and gets a ridiculous amount of natural light during the day, which I cannot get over! Previous room was a dungeon in comparison. Of course, there’s the whole thing about getting to know the new flatmates, but that’s another post… 😉

Social commitments – the only thing I have to say about this is DO NOT arrange to have dinner and drinks out on the weekend that you move. I did this. It was a bad idea.

And lastly, Covid-19… I live in a place where we had a brief respite from the pandemic and had a semblance of ‘normal’ life. That illusion was shattered earlier this week as the news came out that there had been a community outbreak, prompting the decision to go back into lockdown. Lockdown always feels like someone has pressed the ‘pause’ button on life, but nonetheless, I am grateful that the government made this decision so that we could try and contain the virus once again. Sucks about the panic buying and queues at the supermarket though (never again will I take that for granted).

So that’s my life update.

Catch you all in a week!