Living Each Single Day

Hey, welcome to my little online space. I would say this is a blog of sorts, to help me sort out my thoughts. I also write about things going in my life with friends & family and being out and about in sunny Singapore. Life isn't easy, everyone knows that. While we are at it, don't forget to live life to the fullest :)

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Sunday, May 29, 2016

How Time Flies..Happy Birthday to My Brother who is 21!


I watched on Instagram how grand a 21st birthday is, with special birthday set up with friends and family celebrating this special occasion together as he or she leaves the teenage angst behind and step forward to the treacherous life ahead called...adulthood. Lol, I made it seem like it's the worst thing to happen but just as we learn and grow in every stage of our life, basically I think the most challenging is being in your twenties. It's full of hope, love and promises and on the other spectrum, disappointments, despair and well, heaps of bills. We start to question where we stand and where do we go from here.

But we all have to grow up and from our twenties, we learn a heck lot that when we enter our thirties (ahem..) we mellowed down a bit as we start to settle in. However, we question life even more like for many of us, the twenties have been a roller coaster ride and now we have left the ride and we think, what now. We felt that we shouldn't be wasting our life any further and as many of us have entered new territories such as getting married, climbing up the career leader, running successful business and juggling all these in a so called work-life balance.

Life becomes more meaningful as you start to concentrate your energy into things that matter, rather than being in every thing that we feel passionate for or fear in being left out. Now, you just wanna concentrate in running your own life, rather than just being defiant about doing things that people want you to become. Of course being in the thirties doesn't mean you are in a very secured place and and that you know what you want already because life is a continuous journey of self discovery. Of course, there are those who have families and established careers, are comfortable where they are right now. This is what they want and they couldn't ask for more For others, people like me,  we just have to keep on moving because you don't want to always remain stagnant. For example, getting a new job, pursuing further education, meeting new people, running a business, travelling and discover new places and do more volunteer work.


Okay, before I go on and on, I am a little bit sad that we are not able to hold such grand birthday celebration for him. But he's a simple young man. He doesn't like asking for things. His birthday is like any regular day for him except for that day, he worked shorter hours in his part time job and went home to sleep. That's it. 

But just because it doesn't bother him, doesn't mean we will just ignore and treat it like any OTHER day. We continue the tradition of buying a cake for him, him in his home clothes, mum getting the paper plates ready and me attempting to light up the candles without burning my fingers. A simple celebration for a simple guy.

I hope you remain as down to earth as you are right now. I know you don't like to talk about your impending national service but I will be praying for your safety every single day because you're the only brother I've got and I can't ask for more. I know that I used to think that juggling this family would be much easier if I don't have a younger brother to support. But the fact that you're so fuss free and that without you around, I don't know who I can talk my problems too. Life used to be so depressing to me but as you grow older, you grow wiser too and I know you don't really understand my problems but at times, you give such simple and straight forward response that even as an adult, who is 14 years older than you, I don't understand why I make such silly mistakes.

I know you may seem to not care so much all the time like some typical teenager but when mum is in her bad mood and giving attitude, you didn't hesitate to step in for me. For that, I am forever grateful that God gives me such an angel brother.

Happy 21st birthday to my younger brother. And as I said to you, always remain grounded, no matter what life throws your way now that you have stepped into adulthood. You will always have my back and support.





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Sunday, May 22, 2016

Learning a Costly Lesson


This week isn't a good week for me. Point in case, I'm aching all over from fever and cold. On a weekend. On a public holiday. Early this week, I took a tumble when I tried to jump over to avoid the ankle deep of water when there was a safer way to go as prompted by my other colleague. I was taking an umbrella shelter from a colleague who couldn't stop yapping and I dodo followed her jump. The next thing I fell almost flat on my face when my sandal got caught in the mud except that I used both my arms to break the fall and hence protect my face from further damage. I escaped with very minor scratches on my palm but the arms ached like hell the next two days. 

Then mid week, I could not use my atm card at all even to withdraw money and the next day, same thing happened again until I had to call the number on the card because I felt something was not right. My aching suspicion was correct that my account was frozen except that I didn't know why until after I called and then I felt like my world was about to tumble. But somehow I accepted the reality and then next day, I had to make a call to a stat board to rectify this problem before my account gets unfrozen. So in short, my money in the account was gone to pay off for the outstanding bill. Thankfully, I didn't have to top up to pay for the rest of the amount and will have to pay it off in my next pay. 

Also, I managed to recoup back half of the amount from my sales this week itself. I will slowly try to recoup back the balance although it also means managing my finances even more tightly. I don't know when I will get the $1000 reward for the completion of my studies but until then, I will stay on course. Yesterday I overheard a phone conversation of a guy sitting next to me in the train and I guessed he had the same problem as me two days earlier because he was complaining about being unable to use nets and withdraw, I suppose. When I heard the name of the stat board, I had this a-ha..I was right. I don't know how much he owed and if they are going to take everything he has in this bank account, practically wiping it just like how mine was. It's definitely going to be painful if that's all the money he has.

For me, I didn't keep all my money inside that account so I could somehow still survive. But it is still definitely a costly lesson for me for putting things off which honestly is one of my worse habits. It should be a top priority and it's not as though it's an amount that I can't manage especially when they bill at a time when I still have my salary bonus, you know. So I can't blame them for taking such drastic measure as I've been putting it off for rather long time when previously, when I was still struggling on my measly pay, I still somehow managed to pay it off in full and they only bill once a year.

Of course by then it will be too late. You have to be more pro-active with a sense of urgency instead of taking things for granted. 

Maybe it's a blessing in disguise too as I did want to clear my outstanding bills with them as I do have plans to join them in future as my next career of choice. I know seems ironic, isn't it. Maybe God is also paving the way for me besides teaching me a costly lesson. I admit at that time, while I am slowly accepting that fate of mine, I looked around me and I did wonder whether people are always so shiny and happy and if they have own problems too. I know they do too but at some point, sometimes you think your problem is bigger than theirs. 

Then hearing about how other people, despite the challenges they are facing, they still try to live life as best as they can, knowing their life can be taken away from them any time if their body starts to slowly shut down to their illness. Like not being able to enjoy birthday celebrations of your children, seeing them grow up, when dealt with a cruel twist of fate. Therefore, whenever possible, we are actually very lucky indeed. Imagine being in a war torn country where food is hard to come by. There's no such as thing as mcdelivery when we have no food at home. Imagine losing your home and living in the quarters with other families with no sense of privacy. So don't ever take life or things for granted. Let's learn our lesson and move on with our life.


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Sunday, May 15, 2016

Graduation Ceremony at Nanyang Poly..and Where Should I Go From Here

Last Monday, I graduated. I remembered I kept toying over wanting to continue my education but couldn't get around it because of the high school fees until I went to a course a few years back and I got more encouraged about how this lady I met was pursuing her further education. And the fees that she mentioned seemed like a fair amount to pay being under $1000. I just got more and more interested when I did my research and then I would also be able to get financial assistance through bursary disbursements. Of course I was nervous at the same time because I also had to fork out my own money but I was determined to pursue this diploma course so I tried my best to finance them using a combination of my savings, bursary payout, salary and bonus.

Never once did I think about wanting to drop this course half way. Of course at one point, I was exasperated at the amount of studying I had to do plus projects and tests. Some more I'm not one of those book smart people who can grasp things easily. So there were frustrations. But I never thought for once that I want to drop out. I just want to continue and get it over and done with.

Again I can't emphasise over how blessed I am getting classmates that are selfless and willing to share notes and stuffs just so that everybody can graduate together. It's really heartening I must say. I can say for now that if  I were to join another course in future, I don't think I would ever get such company of people again because everyone is just so selfish these days wanting to get ahead instead of helping other people behind them even though we share the same motivation.

Sadly I didn't get to take group pictures with them as I was late but it's alright. I took pictures still, with my family, because they have been supportive in ways that they can.

So where should I go from here? It's funny how when I was studying, I wanted to graduate asap because I can't stand the amount of work that I have to do just to pass each module, lol. But now when I am not studying, I feel like I want to continue right here right now. Although now I'm used to my relaxed schedule, I still have a nagging feeling things have changed. My next plan of action in terms of further education is to pursue the Degree in Business from Unisim that also caters to adult learners too. So from this pay onwards, and after I get my reward for the completion of the course, I am going to start saving for it so that I can pursue it in two year's time. Oh, speaking of which, our diploma course got a special mention along with another similar course during the speech emphasising on how it is challenging for adult learners to cope with the studies while having a full time job and other commitments such as family commitments. 

But during the opening speech, I am also awed by how young these achievers are and how far they've come from being average students to excelling in their studies when they were in poly. They even had many other things to juggle including running a business while pursuing their full time studies as well and doing philantrophy works. Wow. Good job, youth of today. While people have been saying that this young generation is more like the strawberry generation, there are many gems among them who are working hard for a better future while still having fun while they're at it. I hope they will be valuable contributors to the society and the economy in future.

After the graduation ceremony, we went to Swenson's because my brother wanted to treat us out for post Mother's Day celebration and also as a nice end to both our graduation ceremonies. So touched by his gesture and may he be blessed with abundance for helping the family.

Alright, here are the pictures :)












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Setting Yourself for a Better Day than Yesterday & Marriage is not for Everyone

We should count our blessings that we have another day to make it better than it is yesterday. Rather than making things predictable and routined, we ought to actually do things that are useful and bring us closer to the purpose in life besides just being able to live and breathe another day.

I read an article about how the government took note that while the fertility rate increases, the number of singles have increased as well. In other words, people not getting married. I'm one of those, hehe. I've never really set out to looking for opportunities and while it's better to be proactive rather than just waiting for it to happen, if your heart isn't really 'in', some things just take a little bit longer to happen you know. But I know for the longest time ever, in other words since I was much younger, that a married life isn't for everyone. Just based on the statistics itself, while the fertility rate increases, divorce rate has also increased. It's not that I don't want to get married because of that scary figure. I just think it's not something I want. I have other things in mind that I feel like are what I want out of life that far exceeds wanting to find a husband and have children one day. It's a personal choice although I know that we can only plan and we don't know what lies in future for us.

But for those still not achieving what they want out of life, should we actually stop living until one day when we lose weight, find love, get a degree, have ample savings and so on? It's like we  put our lives on hold until things supposedly get better one day.  What we see online is only one third of what is going on behind the scene. It takes more than that. We don't know how many times people fall, experience failure and so on and we only see what they want us to see because not many people are actually upfront to say it all on how they have suffered to get to where they are right now.

So until then, do we berate ourselves if we are nothing like them. No. We should actually set ourselves up to be better than we are yesterday. And we are not going to wish like oh, if things were like this instead, my life wouldn't suck...if I am rich, I don't have to put up with this crappy job.

Doing things out of our comfort zone can set us up for better things ahead in life. I've been toying with the idea of getting a new job in a different government sector for the longest time ever and one of the main reasons why I chose to pursue a diploma. I felt that this future job will have better job opportunities than my present one. Last Monday, I finally received my diploma and now I feel I am in a better position to get my dream job rather than simply wishing.

My brother just bought his macbook air few days ago which I'm typing this out from so applying for the job vacancy will be much easier rather than doing it secretly from work and also I don't have to put up with the cracked screen of my current laptop. I thank God that He has given him this chance to purchase this laptop using his own hard earned money from working as a part time Barista. I am blessed to have him as my brother with his intention to help his family by working and at the same time, saving up for this new Macbook Air. I know that not all parents are blessed with such children and some go through heartache with their children doing things to spite them or are too selfish for their own good to realise how hard their parents have worked in bringing them up. I do not think parenting is an easy job and it's something that I personally feel like I can't do although it's a matter of natural instinct just like how mothers are .

I hope that by reading this post, you are encouraged to seize life, myself included, by making small achievements and planning to make this day more outstanding than yesterday.

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Saturday, May 14, 2016

Graduation Ceremony at Nanyang Poly for My Brother

A week ago, my brother officially graduated from his school Nanyang Polytechnic when he received his diploma. It was a very proud moment for him and the family and no matter how much he tried to shake off from the fact that he failed his O level back then in 2012, I couldn't help but think about  how he got turned down by various polytechnics as he didn't score well enough to even enter the courses with the lowest cut off points. The past shapes your present and future self for better or for worse.
However, in despair moments like this, we either give up, choose the easier route or we brush ourselves and then give it another go, even if it means staying back for a year and making things right. I am glad he followed my plan but I think the real winner was how he didn't let circumstances pull him down, worked even harder and made sacrifices so that he can get better results. 

I didn't care much about how we were going to pay for the course fees because I heard some people could not afford. Coming from a family that isn't well to do, I thought that this may pose a problem but I really wanted him to get in and finding the fund can be done later. Thankfully, I read through enough of the admission package to actually figure out how we were going to pay for the course for those who require financial assistance. In the end, we didn't have to pay a single cent so we were basically safe when it comes to course fees. 

Of course his poly education was not without ups and downs just like every other student who goes through schooling life. Infact, Nothing in life is smooth sailing but he takes it in his stride by doing his best because I've always encouraged him so that he doesn't think it's the end, making myself as the example as we both are pursuing education in the same institution. 

For his 3rd year, I also encouraged him to find part time work and while he was of course quite unhappy at first because it meant loss of freedom on weekend, and then having to work after school on certain days, he enjoyed his work very much and his studies didn't quite get affected. Of course initially it was hard but he got around it and at one point, he was earning two salaries, one from the internship and the other with the part time job as a barista.

As a sweet reward for his dedication to save and something to show for in his one year working as a part time barista, he got himself a 13 inches Macbook Air which is the latest version released less than a month ago with his more than a year savings plus part of his salary from this month. I contributed a little so that he could get a better version which he initially felt bad because he had to use my money but I said that it was okay, since I am going to use it anyway and that I will be receiving my $1K reward for the completion of my education. Plus it's better than using our current laptop with a cracked screen that is getting worse and worse over time.

So below are the pictures from the graduation ceremony. Once again, I'm proud of you my little brother and hope that this will not be the end of your pursuit for higher education. Always aim high in life :)











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Wednesday, May 04, 2016

Bonding Over Water Play & The Innocence of A Child

There were times where I felt like I wish I can go back and relive the past where I don't get bogged down with adult problems although funny thing is, back then I also wished I would grow up quickly and enjoy the perks of being an adult. Come to think of it, there's no in between, haha. 

But despite the harsh realities of life sometimes, there's also kindness and hope as long as we keep our chins up and work hard towards a better future, rather than wishing for things to happen or fall from the sky. In other words, simply leaving everything to fate. Then we're merely wasting our time on earth rather than living and breathing each single day to be better than yesterday and to make it outstanding, rather than boring and unpredictable.

So when I see young kids, I feel like they have so much for them in the future and how we often pressurize them to do things to go further in life despite their young age. I believe they should also be given opportunities to enjoy their childhood while they still can and not just to push them to excel academically. Because once this childhood is gone, it's gone forever. Now children are not born with certain mentalities but rather, it's how the society and the parents play their role in shaping their thought process during their upbringing process whether directly or indirectly. 

But as adults, rather than just thinking about the multiple problems we have, our daily struggles and so on, we should also aim to stop, breathe and be grateful for what we have whether being in the company of friends or family, pursuing our passion and simply have fun just like our younger days.

So here are the pictures taken on that day and how from these pictures, it doesn't matter whether you're young or old, as long as you stay positive and continue to pursue happiness in life :) I'm glad that despite the years that we've been together, we are still strongly bonded together in friendship and especially so with my friend whose caring  nature is for sure, an example to follow.








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