Tuesday, October 13, 2015

CH265: So What

After finishing the fourth series of Lisbeth Salander's adventures, I bought several books:

I wanted to mix up my choices - Finance, Autobiography (Philosophy), Human Nature / Sociology and Romance. They won't be my usual choice for reading - as I usually go for Fiction - thrillers, horrors, fantasy and YA. I haven't read a YA book in a long time so that's good!

I'm currently reading Andy Warhol. I'm surprised by the fact that a book on philosophy does not so much as influence me but rather reinforces my own.

During one of my commutes home, I was introspecting the idea that Indifference is a skill or even an art that needs practice. And then I read a passage in Warhol's book that discussed "So What."

You broke up with your partner. - So What

You're phone's battery is dead - So What

You're successful but alone - So What

You've got acne - So What

You don't have enough money to travel with friends - So What

You get the point. - So What (haha)

Relating Warhol's stance to the indifference k was talking about: life won't be as miserable if we just learn to say So What and believe it. If we become indifferent to our own problems, our problems will stop becoming bigger problems and we won't become miserable.

It's I suppose the evolution of the Thai phrase I blogged about before (Mai Pen Rai). But I believe that saying goes more to talk about external factors. So What pertains more to our reactions to the external factors and how we decide to cultivate our feelings towards them.

I actually enjoy reading Warhol's philosophies. There's so much insight. For the person who made Pop Art a thing (Business Art as he calls it), I'm actually surprised at the depth of wisdom he has shared in his book. I'm glad I'm transitioning well from reading fiction to something more substantial.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Monday, September 14, 2015

CH262: Risen

It's spring and winter is over! I was meant to update this entry with my experiences in snow during the past winter, but i never really got around to it and work took over and then life. Summer is coming after all so there's also the gym.

Life in Australia (Sydney) has been great! I try and think about how other people might feel if they were in my position - perhaps with adjusting to a different lifestyle or whatnot, but I never really thought about it. I never considered how I will have to adjust as much. I just have been living the same way as I used to when I was in Singapore. Although, there are key differences as Sydney is much bigger than Singapore. One in particular is late night outs. So I haven't been going out as much in the evenings mostly because it's expensive to have to take a cab, and I don't want to make a habit of taking Uber home (it was also just winter so go figure :)) ). Another key difference I would have to say is the expense of living here. When I calculate the grocery my mom and I made in Manila, 4000 pesos will already go a long way. From my average the past month, I think my grocery costs around 500 per month max. And I am just buying for one! I suppose I do get the savings from not having to eat out and getting control of what I eat - considering the price I paid for visits to the dietitian, I think it's worth it.

And from here on, is just a bunch of babble.

So, yeah, winter is finally over! Along with the lack of updates, I was contemplating this thought recently:

The greatest flaw of humans is not ambition or pride - but "getting carried away" and leaving rationale behind.

Put some thought into that.

Internet in my room is not particularly cooperative with how where the router is situated, so thats a bit of a bummer. And by this Saturday, I will be on holidays in Vietnam! :)

I enjoy the seasons. It makes things more interesting because you live the same life and same routine, but not exactly the same because the season is different. Layers have been reduced, and soon, I will have to shop for spring/summer! :)

Friday, July 3, 2015

CH261: Love Wins

It's the start to global acceptance and tolerance. As I'm sure most of you are aware, marriage equality has been finalized in the US following the Supreme Court's decision.

Despite all the struggles in the world with war, hunger, terrorism and strife, I feel we're headed in the right direction.


Friday, June 5, 2015

CH260: Dominance

It's been a hectic week by choice. I asked my HR if I can work extra hours and from Tuesday-Thursday this week, I've worked for 13-14 hours each. I say by choice, because I have a lot of projects on my plate, and the only way I can accomodate all the projects and give them each proper attention is if the working day was more than 8 hours. If it was me from 2-3 years ago, I would have cracked under the pressure of juggling those projects. But no, I made it through. Successful project delivery!

That aside, this coming weekend is apparently a long weekend because it's the Queen's Birthday!

To start it off, my Aussie BFF, Issa, and I had a good walk around the city - window shopping (I ended up buying scent diffusers which were 50 percent off haha - now my room smells of coconut :)). After which, we found ourselves in Newtown walking towards St Peters and just looking through the vintage shops.

At some point, we found ourselves by a very homey looking cafe called Parliament on King. We didn't know what to expect from getting there, but since they were serving white wine, I was all good.
 While at their outside seating, we met a Somali girl who works in the cafe and got to know her story.

Her name is Hani. She's a refugee. She writes poems about the struggle she had to go through to get here. She had a boyfriend who died in a building explosion by a jihadist when she was 15/16. She narrated her fear of being put inside a ship's compartment with several other people with only a couple of holes to breathe through. She talked about befriending a Filipino she called Uncle Ray who saved aside some breakfast for her because she often misses breakfast by waking up late. She's 19 and she will have a book of poetry published soon. She learned most of her English in the detention camp where she had nothing else to do.

It was a pleasant surprise meeting Hani. I could tell by speaking with her that she has strength and the right spirit to make it in life. 10 years of age difference, and speaking with her, I felt quite old. But in a way, despite the difference in age, I felt we're quite similar. She dreamt of a better life outside the wartorn place she lived in. She pursued her dreams and faced the challenges the journey will bring to her and she lived through the experience. Although not exactly the same struggles she had to go through, I share the sentiment with her of chasing my dreams and looking for something better in life.

It makes me thankful now that despite what I am starting to feel as a priveleged upbringing, that I have been blessed to be where I was, where I am and where I might be. Getting to know Hani, really puts a face to what a refugee is about and who a refugee is. All that I knew of them was from the media - talks about Christmas Island and detention centers. And now I know better.

In this world, you need to dominate your own life and steer it in the direction you want to be. You have to dominate your work to be sucessful. You have to dominate your struggles to make it through. You have to dominate your will and steel your heart.

Friday, May 29, 2015

CH259: Seniority

I can't believe it's been a month since I last posted an entry. It's unbelievable how time went by so quickly! I've been so busy with work and most of my weekend were being spent on trying to recuperate and recharge for the following week - if not doing my chores. I've been conscientiously planning out my weekend to get the most out of it.

I find that sometimes, because of how hectic my work schedule is with all the project I'm juggling and the few support / administration requests I get, that, I just want to surround myself in a bubble and just enjoy the quiet (or sometimes with music) by myself.

Getting back to work as a senior consultant has its challenges as well as rewards. I've been assigned very challenging projects one on top of the other where the stakes are quite high. I appreciate the trust my company is giving me and I am enjoying it a lot! Although, the pressure is quite high, I'm still managing things well. It's been especially tough because one of the consultants left a week after my last entry so I had a lot to take in and manage and basically pick up the things that were left hanging.

It's finally starting to sink in that I'm in a senior position. The degree of difficulty and the number of responsibilities I have to manage is something I'm trying to get a fit into. I'm also trying to adjust to the different work culture here in Australia. I've been used to working overtime and long hours to finish projects, but here, the attitude seems more like "I'll work within the time I'm paid for and only go over hours when necessary." There was one night when I was working late in the office (10pm), where my HR messaged me asking me if I was still in the office. I replied yes. She told me to go home otherwise she won't be able to sleep - so I did :). Working with older people who are in really senior roles, sometimes, I feel because I'm one of the youngest (our youngest is 24 - who works on the infrastructure and network side), I feel intimidated. Although I think I'm getting over that sense of intimidation at this point. But, because of my age and looking younger than my actual age, I sometimes feel I need to compensate by working harder to be taken seriously.

It feels weird sometimes when I sit down and think about it how this is career progression. I'm doing bigger and bigger things with the stakes getting higher. It's comforting to know that after everything I had to go through - Philippines - Singapore - Funemployment - Australia and now my current work, that the choices I've made are validated by the fact that I am where I am because I've made the right choices...because right now feels absolutely right.

PS: Because of the constant cash flow that is now in place (salary), I feel I need to learn to save up for something in order to get it. From getting employment, aside from putting money aside for savings, I feel compelled to get the things I need and want right here right now (as evidenced by the online shopping I did) - simply because I can afford them. But I think I need to learn to discipline myself more. I need to save for bigger things - like an investment property/my own house now that I can safely say that Australia is home.

What happened the past month?

In pictures
Brunch with friends before going for an indoor climb 

A very fun activity! Scaling walls to the point of exhaustion! At some point, I didn't get to do a climb on a stalactite because my grip was so weak!

Selfie with my Australian BFF

Sundate and seeing Autumn in action

A picture at a client site during my colleague's last day

Indoor graffiti in a cafe in Erskineville

Trying out the new Maccas - gourmet burger of my own making :) Yum!

Sundate with ice cream made from Liquid Nitrogen

Getting a heater for the coming winter! I decided to buy one when the temperature on one night dropped to 10 deg C in the evening 

Getting my fix with some online shopping. I finally got a better backpack because my shoulder was starting to hurt from carrying my laptop shoulder bag

Brunch special somewhere in the border of Alexandria and Erskineville
More pictures to bombard you with!

One of my closest friends Norman was by Sydney. He brought me to one of the Chinese restaurants by the place he used to live in. 

More shopping fix a week after the last one! Buying winter jackets and overcoat

Had Ube Macapuno cake in one of the Filipino restaurants in Central

And then Vivid happened. This was from the opening night May 22 by the Customs House at Circular Quay

More exhibits

Pictures from Canon's exhibition - Light Portraits!

Tetris happening on the facade of the Museum of Contemporary Arts. 

Decided to rest from walking around for Vivid and went for drinks at Glenmore Hotel's Rooftop bar

Saturday - went for a trial tennis class and eventually signed up for a 10 week 2 hour class

After which (the tennis class), I went to meet friends to do more indoor climbing.

I finally managed to conquer the Stalactite challenge. The fear of heights still occur, but the adrenaline it brings along with it can be addicting!

Saturdate schnitzel

More Vivid shows - this time in Central Park

At Central Park

Beautiful! So tantalizing just watching the show unfold

Made our way to Darling Harbour and accidentally catching the 830 weekly fireworks

Sundate drive along ANZAC bridge on the way to the outlet mall for some shopping (I only got underwear and bath towels lol)

Sunday, finally caught up with one of my closest friends from Singapore - Paul! Catch up over some white wine at Beresford Hotel

Starting off the week working at a client site!

Wednesday - after a week and a half of staying over at my place, this was Norman's last day in Sydney (again) before he moves back out west

Was supposed to have dinner with some other friends by the Rocks, but it didnt push through, so after Issa (my aussie BFF) and I had dinner and drinks, we walked around and stopped by Martin Place to see some of the Vivid exhibits there

Taken earlier when I was having my 3pm coffee break. The building on the right reminds me of Stamford Swiss Hotel in Singapore mostly because of it's shape (cylindrical). It was another busy week at work, but I'm thankful for all it brings - fulfillment and a wad of cash! haha