It has been almost 5 months without me writing anything. Oh dear! Time certainly flies.
Well, it had been some fruitful months. My goal of getting out of my comfort zone is somewhat attained every month. Let’s see:
I took an e-course on Negotiation and for the final assignment, we are given a scenario where we have to take on a role and negotiate with another party according to the role’s given brief. So, I found someone via the course forum and we communicated over email to decide on a day to voice / video call to do the negotiations. For safety purposes, I picked someone with a university email address. Guess what? My negotiation partner turned out to be a Russian! It has been ages since I last spoke to a complete stranger and it showed. I was quite shy so I didn’t talk much – more like, I am at loss for words. Thankfully, he was super steady and initiated most of the discussion. The negotiation went OK, I didn’t do too bad but it could have been better ( I could have secured a better deal had I been more ambitious ). Oh well, the experience was exhilarating! 😀
I found myself a new best friend. Yay! We’ve got good chemistry and a genuine acceptance of each other. This out-of-my-comfort-zone story is a bit tricky to explain without going into the details so shall keep it at that. But still, this is probably one of the biggest out-of-my-comfort-zone decisions of the year.
And, I joined a new pilates studio. It is slightly more expensive but so much better! Less people, more fun toys to play with and much more hygienic. Good location and awesome instructor too! The previous instructor is equally awesome too by the way! =D
Aside from that, I tried pottery. Yes, it’s that activity where you shaped the lump of clay with your bare hands into whichever shape you want. My hand skills are not good and I got a clumsy looking bowl. Hehe. While others are decorating theirs with intricate flower patterns and designs, I opt for something more… me. I decided to make it Naruto-themed. =p So, I put together team 7’s clan symbols – the Uzumaki, Haruno and Uchiha symbols along with an existing leaf pattern. The leaf is supposed to symbolize Hidden Leaf Village ( even though it is pretty obvious ). In the inner side of the bowl, I wrote out the names of team 7 – Naruto, Sasuke and Sakura. Thankfully, they are all in Hiragana / Katakana. Naturally, my bowl looks the most weird ( foreign, as described by Bear ). Oh well, at least I will easily recognize my bowl. We left it with the workshop instructors to help us do the finishing touches. With that, we have reached half of 2017! :p
The start of the second half of the year brings greater challenges and excitement! My uni friends and I took a trip to Jogja, Indonesia. From this holiday, I learned so much and felt really humbled. For starters, I was so silly as to not research enough on the entrance fees of the places we are visiting as well as estimate how much I would need. I ended up borrowing money from my friends as I brought insufficient cash. Minus the embarrassment, it had been thrilling! I tried caving for the first time in my life, in another country. Twice in the same day! At Goa Pindul, I jumped down from a 4m high platform into the water and swam to my heart’s content. At Jomblang Cave, I got lowered down with ropes into the sinkhole ( 50m height!! ), hiked further down to reach the cave’s mouth and slowly walked into the cave where it is pitch dark inside. There are some flash lights to light the way but it is still very dark. Luckily, I brought a flash light which really helps! That’s just a short description. If I were to share my entire trip adventures, that would probably required at least a few blog posts. =)
That is only the first part of July! The second half was something I couldn’t see coming. Well, the good news is that I passed my probation and got confirmed as a Scrum Master. Fantastic! I am really appreciative and grateful to all my colleagues who supported me, especially my manager who believes in me and really vouched for me in front of management. Next comes the fun part: I had to give a presentation on Scrum and what it means being a Scrum Master to the head of departments. All my toastmaster speeches had better come to good use. Hehe. Anyway, I was really anxious, somewhat nervous and afraid. My first practice was pathetic and I felt really bad. Thankfully, I pushed myself to practice as many times as possible ( time is limited ) and on the day itself, I even practiced in the ladies restroom. Fortunately, my presentation was well-received by the audience and my manager was there to save the day, literally. She took on a couple of hard questions for me ( me being inexperienced ) and all is well.
Last part! Now that my position is secured, I somewhat resume part of my ‘non-work related’ activities ( which i enjoy ), which is to plan for co-worker’s birthday surprises / lunch / card / gifts. Being a fair person, I was planning for two of my co-workers who has not really had any birthday gifts since they join. So, I passed around envelopes and card to collect money from the others who may want to chip in and then had more fun figuring out what to get for one of them. It makes you realise how much you really know a person when you are not sure what they need or like. Well, sometimes you do but it can be over the budget! Luckily, I happened to ask the right person who gave me an excellent gift idea and everything happened really quickly after that. I went to the mall with some other colleagues to shop for the gift, came back, wrapped them all up in the nick of time and managed to hide the wrapped gifts before the birthday boys ( men but birthday boys had a nicer ring to it ). Next, when do we give the presents? I had to consider the right timing ( what if the boss is angry or we have an emergency ) and just when I thought I can, one of them went out for a smoke. *growls* Nevertheless, I chose to have the present giving ceremony at the end of the workday, right before they leave. It went really well! Someone played the birthday song on the guitar, everyone gathered and we sang Happy Birthday and the two birthday boys were noticeably surprised and delighted. Jobs done! xD
Busy, busy month! Went on a short trip to Malacca with an ex colleague and a colleague from a different department. Something new! Although we have been to Malacca before, we opt to try out different places this time round. We visited an upside down house ( gimmicky ), make new friends with huskies in a husky cafe where huskies roam freely in an air-conditioned cafe ( really new experience, I must say ) and explored the sand dunes ( similar but not really the same but good enough haha ). Observing the various huskies and their personalities was an interesting exercise whereas wandering around in the sand dunes was exciting because it is so new. To top it all off, we had really fresh and yummy cendol and I finally get to taste the famous Klebang Coconut Shake. Simply delicious! That’s not it! Well, I parked my car and we went around with Uber. So, when we went to get my car, surprise surprise! It was literally covered with bird poop. What a way to end the trip haha!
Besides that, I also joined a charity run where half of the proceeds will go to the National AIDS Foundation and the other half to the Faculty of Medicine of Uni Malaya. I got to explored the Malaya University campus a bit and.. made a new friend too. Quite unexpected but you never know how things will turn out! :p
Oh, and the pottery thingy we did in June? We got it back! It turned out pretty okay and it is now a deco on my table. At least, pottery’s now checked on my bucket list.
What can I say? September is a month of birthdays, including mine! What I didn’t see coming was the celebration(s). I don’t usually do much for my birthday, I prefer to celebrate other people’s birthday. So, I planned a few for some of my colleagues and some of them planned for mine too. I was genuinely surprised by some of their gestures and as usual, noob me didn’t really know how to respond sometimes. I am ( my expression ), like a wood, as usual and it took me some time to remember to explicitly thank them for their kind thoughts and actions. Turning a year older, I need to be more serious with my life and have a proper destination. I am always cruising along as usual, never really knowing where I am going. Once in a while, I am reminded of my own mortality and the possibility of leaving the world anytime. It makes me feel like I must do the things I want to do and not wait till tomorrow. Any day can be one’s last day. :3
That’s pretty much a short summary of the past few months. Sometimes, I wish I recorded them more properly ( with pictures and texts) so that I can look back and really remember. I used to write down everything in excruciating detail and when I read back months and years later, I can almost relive every moment. Meanwhile, I am still living life one step at a time.