About Being 29

A 29 year old woman (and more often girl). Raised in several countries in Asia, and the US. Trapped in advertising but looking for a new place to go. In a long distance relationship with a beautiful European man who I want with me. Grateful for my life, family, friends, and puppies. Love travelling, singing out loud to any song I know (my lyrical database is pretty extensive), and eating, and will bite if you touch my food.

How to love a woman

“You may not be her first, her last, or her only. She loved before, she may love again. But if she loves you now, what else matters? She’s not perfect – you aren’t either, and the two of you may never be perfect together. But if she can make you laugh, cause you to think twice, and admit to being human and making mistakes, hold onto her and give her the most you can. She may not be thinking about you every second of the day, but she will give you a part of her that she knows you can break – her heart. So don’t hurt her, don’t change her, don’t analyze, and don’t expect more than she can give. Smile when she makes you happy, let her know when she makes you mad, and miss her when she’s not there.”

~ Bob Marley

Distance

Loving him sometimes feels like I’m about to hug a porcupine – blindfolded. I can’t tell whether the quills are up or down – whether he’ll prick me if I come close. It’s so sad that after 2+ years together, I still can’t read him. I wish we hadn’t been separated so early, for so long. There’s so much we could have had by now. It breaks my heart to think of how much we don’t.

Make-up and me

This area is not my forte. I only know how to use the basic stuff – light brown eyeshadow, black eyeliner, black mascara (one coat), blush. Takes up 5-10 minutes of my morning routine before work. If I go out at night, I’ll use an eyeshadow that is 2 shades of a darker brown, apply my eyeliner slightly thicker, and try a little harder with my mascara (which just means making sure they are curled, and taking more time applying my first coat). I’d like to think I don’t need as much because my natural beauty radiates from the inside (*cut to readers gagging*).

My Mom on the other hand, is a pro. That doesn’t mean that she cakes on the stuff. She knows how to blend colours, apply highlights, use different brushes… Basically just a girl. My little sister is also equally as talented with cosmetics, which makes me wonder, what happened to me? I must have missed that little code in my DNA. I guess in order to get better, one must practice. But, I’m lazy. I would rather do almost anything else, instead of sitting in front of the mirror, playing. Part of the reason is because I don’t want to waste it, but the other part, doesn’t know where in the world to start!

(I’m lucky that N doesn’t like a lot of make up.)

Recently, I’ve been active on Pinterest, and I’ve suddenly become hooked on blue, turquoise, and white eyeliners. Here are some of the pictures I’ve been staring at from there :

I guess looking at them started a chain reaction in my XX chromosomes, and got me hunting for these colours. So today, I went shopping with my “personal make-up artist” – Mommy 😀 (A little note to say that I LOVE my Mom. She is my bestest best friend, and the most amazing woman I know). After visiting a few counters (blue eyeliner isn’t as common as you think), we stopped at M.A.C (perfect for colours), had some test trials, and bought these:

Look at those pretty colours 😀 I feel like such a girl. I feel like I’ve taken a little step into my adult heels, while still maintaining my 5-10 minute personal limit in the morning (I will not let myself become one of those women who needs to wake up earlier to get her face together).

(Just in case I need to declare this somewhere: I don’t own any of these images, and got them all from Pinterest and the M.A.C website)

I need a change

I hate my job. Okay, maybe “hate” is too strong a word, but there are times when I feel it’s an understatement. I work in advertising. Don’t get me wrong, advertising is an exciting, fast paced, action packed industry that young people should experience. Advertising and I have a love-hate relationship. At the end of it all, I’m really glad I started here. I really recommend it to fresh, young, (especially single), energetic people. No day is the same, and anything and/or everything can change from one minute to the next. If you’re one of those who likes a little spice in your life, advertising is perfect. If I was still single and had different clients, I think I’d still love it. You may think that at 29, I am still one of these “young people.” I’m not. Especially as I’m finding that priorities are changing from career, to ME. Advertising is like a child. A needy, spoiled child. It comes first before everything. You spend all your time planning, either following the rules or tweaking them with the intention of keeping the child quiet and happy. Just when you think you’ve given it just enough candy…

WAAH!!! Sugar high! You’ve given it too much! Now it won’t stop running around, screaming – either at things or you, or both.

Or, WAAH!!! The kid didn’t want purple candy today, it wanted the green and orange striped one! Now it’s throwing itself onto the floor, kicking and throwing a tantrum for everyone (especially the “elders”) to see.

Or WAAH!!! It was full with the candy, and wanted something else to do to occupy itself.

Or, one of the “elders” gives you another brat or two to deal with. WAAH!!! WAAH!!!

You may be rolling your eyes and shaking your head at me, but this isn’t hyperbole. The larger your client, the larger the snotty child is. Every so not-very-often does the advertising deity bless you with a child who has passed the terrible twos. I was absent when this blessing was given.

It’s almost 2:50am, and I’m at the studio. A dark room, starting at 3 screens, with two of my bosses, and I’ve been here since 11am. My big boss just said I’m going to be here until 6am. Did I mention I have to come back at 10am?

My enjoyment and passion for this industry has waned. The money (which isn’t a lot) isn’t worth all the pain, and doesn’t come anywhere near compensating for the healthy, happy, sane life I’m missing out on. An industry promoting products whose existence are based upon lies (I work on food. Not even the packaging is real sometimes). It doesn’t care about me, nor I about it. I want something bigger than a career in this industry. I want a life! My life! I want to be excited about going to work in the morning, to push for the best from others and myself every day, to go to work with a smile, and return home with one. I want to be able to plan my life. To leave when “normal” people leave work, and rest on the weekends. I’m not a doctor, so why should I be on call??

Advertising will always have a special place in my heart, but right now, I need to call a time out.

Blog name change!

Previously:  Being 28

That can only mean one thing…

♪ ♫ Joyeux anniverssaire, Parabéns, feliz cumpleaños, สุขสันต์วันเกิด, geseënde verjaarsdag, 생일 축하, xronia polla, སྐྱེས་སྐར་ཉིན་བཀྲ་ཤིས་བདེ་ལེགས།, buon compleanno, 祝你(or 我)生日快樂, maligayang kaarawan, HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MEEEEEEE!!!!!  ♬ ♩

A thing to note about me.. my birthday lasts 36 hours.  It’s only fair as it has to cover all the time zones I’ve lived in  😉

My last full year of being in my 20’s.  I was originally going to write a little piece reflecting on my last 29 years, but then that makes it seem like I’m saying goodbye to my “youth”, whereas what I should be embracing my future, blessed for every nanosecond of my life.

Thank you God, for every single person, and every single thing in my life.  My family, N, my friends.  For all those who are in my life, and for those who used to be part of it.  Thank you for past every moment, and for all those yet to come.

Be present

I took a seminar a few years ago with a good friend of mine, and one of the main mantras the presenter kept repeating was, “Be Present.

I think that is so relevant, especially now since most of us have become so dependent on technology.  Waiting for the bus?  Pull out your Blackberry to BBM your friends, catching up on the latest news since you last spoke the night before.  On a train?  Watch movies or shows on your laptop to pass the time with laughter, rather than boredom.  Stuck in traffic?  Turn to your iPhone to post an angry update via Facebook about how stupid people shouldn’t be allowed to drive.

I’m guilty of all of the above and more.  We don’t take time to appreciate the moment anymore.  Last night while lying in bed trying to sleep, my mind was wandering down Thinking Too Much Lane.  Stepping foot back into the office after having been away for 3 weeks (horror!), how I have a new beautiful iPhone 4s waiting for me at home when I get back (an early birthday gift from my parents – YAY!!), planning our trip to the US for my friend’s wedding in September, visiting both Georgia and NYC (first time bridesmaid!).. My mind just wouldn’t stop!

Then it hit me.

I was in a warm bed, cuddled next to N, staying in a lovely house in the mountains of Lozere, France.  France!  I also have to highlight “cuddled next to N” because it’s not something he and I can take for granted, having been in a long distance relationship for most of our almost 2 years and 2 months together.  Our trip has given us 3 beautiful weeks together.  That’s the most time we have had with each other EVER since the start of our relationship.  I should be relishing in this time, feeling lucky, NOT anxious about things that haven’t even happened yet!  I brought myself back to the present, to the moment, listening to N’s heartbeat, feeling the rise and fall of his chest, and I slowly drifted off to sleep, lulled by the sound of his breathing.

I am reminded of this now, while on a 2.5 hour bus ride from Lozere to Clermand Ferrand.  If I was lost in my iPhone, or watching Modern Family on my laptop, I’d be inexcuseably missing out on the beautiful sights this part of the country has to offer.  The snow capped mountain tops, partially frozen rivers, horses standing valiantly upon white fields, long icicles hanging delicately from cliffs, small clusters of towns spread scenically over the landscape

Gorgeous.  Seeing and appreciating all this, with N sleeping in the crook of my elbow.

(Yes, he’s passed out.  He can sleep in any position, and it never ceases to make me chuckle.  This is one of the less entertaining ones, but I still couldn’t resist taking a photo).

If you look at the bigger picture, all those moments add up.  Look at how much we can, and do miss out on.  You can put a pause on technology, but no matter how advanced we get, we can’t ever put a pause on time.  We need to learn how to be present.  To be with, and live in the moment.  To appreciate where we are, who we are with, and what is happening right then and there.  This reminds me of another mantra that should we should all remember.  “This too shall pass.”  Whether things are great, or they could be better, the moment, and everything encompassing this moment, will pass.

So bring your eyes up, tune your brain to now, your senses, and release yourself to the moment.

(A side note:  I know it’s ironic of me to be typing about losing out on living in the moment, while on a bus, but when you get hit with the inspiration to write, you just gotta roll with the punch.  I’m going to stop now though because starting to feel ill from motion sickness, and I still have a 4 hour train ride to tackle after this.)

I suck at packing

I’m not a light packer.  I’m not a fast packer.  I’m not an efficient packer.  I’m not even 100% focused when I’m packing.  I can pack for hours, staring at my clothes, and come out with the difference of two tops either being in or out.  I’m just crap at packing.  However, I’m proud to say that I am gradually improving over time (lots of it. I also stress gradually).

To give you a sense of where I was, let’s rewind back to 6ish+ years ago..  You know how you generally pack one outfit for the day, and another for the evening?  I used to pack so that I was fully prepared for whatever weather Mother Nature decided to throw at me.  Be it rain, sun, hot, cold, slightly chilly, mildly warm, breezy weather, etc, I had the clothes.  Now multiply that by the time of day – day attire, night attire, and number of days on the trip.  That’s just clothes.  I haven’t even mentioned my toiletries, towels, hairdryer, shoes, etc.  I was THAT bad.

My bestie packs for a whole weekend away, with her clothes, toiletries, a little blanket, PLUS a standard sized pillow, carrying everything in ONLY her pillowcase.  I only believe this because my own two eyes have seen this on many occasions.  She’s my idol (for many things including her gift for packing).  I aspire to one day pack almost as well as she does (I’ve already accepted the fact that I will never fit everything into one pillowcase, unless it’s a day trip).

Fast forward to today, and I have learned many little secrets.  A huge one is to roll clothes when you pack, as this allows you to pack more  😉  I also re-use clothes I’ve already worn, trained myself to go without a hairdryer, know that going away for 3 days doesn’t mean packing 3 pairs of jeans, become a little more stylish in order to mix and match a greater variety of looks.  I’ve also realised I’ve been underestimate the scarf.  This lifesaver can protect you from any type of “cold” that one can be exposed to in South East Asia.  It keeps your neck warm, or your shoulders, or can double up as a little blanket!  Genius.

As you know, N and I are leaving for a 3 week trip to France and Portugal next Friday night (well technically 5 minutes into Saturday morning).  It is bloody freezing in France, and freezing in Portugal (keep in mind I’m from South East Asia so anything below 23°C/74°F already requires a scarf/light jacket).  So at T-6 days from departure, with a general gist of what to expect with weather, and under strict orders from N that I am not allowed to bring too much or I will be forced to carry my own bags, I’ve begun preliminary packing of some clothes.  This is what I’m staring at so far:

This doesn’t include the 2 jackets I’m probably bringing (my coat for the bloody freezing cold, and a furry jacket for the freezing cold), my toiletries (I bring everything, including my own shower cap), 2 pairs of knee high boots (one black, one brown of course, and perhaps even my trainers), perhaps another scarf or two to make 3 or 4 (two for outdoors, one for indoors post showering so that it’s clean), other tops that are being washed..

Oh, did I mention that when in Portugal for a week and a half, we will be staying it N’s mum’s house, so will have access to a washing machine?

Yup, I already know.