Monday, October 24, 2011

First post after a month at work

Where have I been you ask?

It's been about 1 month since I've started at my new workplace. In summary... I'm on a ridiculously steep learning curve.

I've had 1 traumatic event, which happened to be my first ever case done as an employee. That sure was scarring, but I learnt valuable lessons: to not be intimidated, to find ways out from being cornered to give solutions.

And then though i had expressed reservations about working with a certain population of folks, i'm now working with them and I must say they are generally a delightful bunch once you can engage them.

There have been times that i mentally try to plan an escape route for myself... I entertain strange thoughts like running away to work in a cafe, run away to be employed in something less taxing on the social front... Things like that. Because things can get so hard. In the initial weeks, I was really shaking in my shoes, worried that I'll be assigned a counselee. I felt like I wasn't ready, I felt indescribably anxious. I was a wreck behind my desk. Stressed, worried, desperately praying, fearful, feeling inadequate. You name it.

To some extent, my anxiety has lessened... and I'm not sure if it's because my self psycho-ing is working or whether it's because I'm suppressing my fear. I've written out all the words of encouragement and prayer that people have given me and stuck them on my cubicle walls. I read them and meditate on them when I'm afraid. I have to constantly tell myself that I want to love my job, i'm just here to help, I'm just here to love, just here to be human to another human being. I want my life's purpose to be in sync with my job, and I want to see it as part of my life and not separate.

I knew this was a journey with the Lord, my choices have all along been made with the intention of following the Lord's guidance. I also knew that this wasn't an easy path to take, but I know that the Lord has meant for me to be here, right now. That's the thing that gives me the assurance to carry on and to carry on in good faith that He will protect me and lead me through no matter what.

I know that it's not an easy path to take because i began with the understanding that it's part of God's plan to mould me. And as we all know, a moulding and refining process is never easy. Hence the struggling. I'm faced with my personal fears every day. Which would explain my heightened levels of anxiety.

Yet looking back, i think i've come some way. About 2 years ago, i was way more anxious. While I waited for a student to walk in for counselling, I was in a state of near panic. I would be getting sweaty palms, elevated heart rate, racing thoughts. I remember jumping in my seat every time i heard the sound of the lift landing at the floor I was on.

I don't feel that kind of panic now, but i do still feel pretty stressed. So i take the time to examine my thoughts and try to plant more helpful thoughts in my head to stop myself from over thinking and reacting.

So yeah. This has been the state of affairs. Some might think i'm being too hard on myself. Maybe I am. I guess it's because i just don't want to hurt anyone. I just want to get better at what i do so that I would be able to bring more help than confusion.

Lord. Let me know that You are near. That I'm never alone in that counselling room. You are the greatest counsellor who ever lived and who still lives. Help me to love your people just like you do, and attend to their deepest needs wherever they are at. Help me to grow and mature, and to sharpen my skills so that I can help bring light to what has been in darkness. I'm determined to walk through this because you have ordained this so. Lord, have your way! In Jesus's precious name I pray, Amen.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

A Farewell, but not a Goodbye!

We've been friends since junior college and i always, ALWAYS am thankful for all the times we've shared together. So many that i need photos to remind me of the things we got up to. I didn't enjoy college life (i thought i would, since it was the "cool" college to be in) but in the end, i hated it but instead met the core group of people who would be my friends for life. I thank God for them. :)

Y will be going to HK for a work stint and though we don't meet up as often as we should, the months that she will be away will be felt, honestly. So we decided to have a girly meet up over tea and delicious bites at this place called Arteastiq at Mandarin Gallery.

The 2SC10 Library Gang
Y's Ginger spice tea. It has a good ginger kick! Me like. Comes with biscuit, milk and sugar cubes.

That's where the good spice kick comes from

Lychee... something... Can't remember. I just remember thinking that everything was presented so prettily.

My duck breast wrap. It was soooo good. On the sweet side though, but that suits me just fine. I was amazed at how much salad they were able to squeeeze into that tiny bowl/cup. The other stuff in the plate includes the mushroom soup (thick and had loads of finely chopped mushrooms), croutons and a garlic puree salad dressing (spicy! and left us all garlicky in the mouth)

The wrap, upclose.

Monkeying around as usual.
You can probably tell that we had set a theme, which was so wear summery dresses. So tai tai, huh. :) But it was nice to play dress up for our girly outing la. Since we hardly ever do something like this.

I'd say the food isn't cheap and for bigger eaters, you might find the portions a little wanting. Which is why ordering your food with the teas might help fill you up. The general sentiment was that the food was good, so, if you don't mind paying for presentation, you can try this place. The ambience is lovely: dainty, delicate, whimsical.

We'll be having another outing soon, just to spend more time with Y before she goes. And hopefully when i start working (*kaching!*kaching!*financial freedom*!) and when XH's baby gets a little older, we can troop over and raid Y's apartment in HK. Teeheehee.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

I could have been born anywhere in this world. I could have been born in poverty, or a place where the news of Jesus has not been reached. I could have been born into a rich family, or a messed up family, rich or poor or average.

But God put me here. I know what comfort is. I also know pain. I know who God is because of my upbringing and being in a community that has helped lead me in my walk with God. I may not be in the most perfect situation, as there are always worst, or better.

And I see, that i have much to be thankful for. I don't know the whole picture, but there must be reasons for me to be here and not somewhere else. And that's comforting to know. :)

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Coupla new food adventures over at the food blog, I've added the link now under Bare Essentials. :D

Monday, August 15, 2011

Marina Barrage

Went to Marina Barrage and the weather was looking iffy over in the west, but NEA said that it was merely going to be cloudy over at our destination. So, with faith we journeyed to the marina barrage!

It was the first time in my ENTIRE life (so far), that I stepped onto Marina Bay Mrt station. Seriously. And so, here we are! This was the less "open" way in though it all leads to the same place. The architecture of the barrage is quite something to behold. And then it opens up to reveal a wide open space. But that's not all...

Us on top where everyone is either kite flying, picnic-ing, snapping photos, playing cards, lying around, frisbee-ing... oh, it was grand. :) There was so much happiness going on up there. These grassy slopes remind me of the architecture of the arts faculty in NTU.

What seemed like the residential kuching. People stopped by to pat the little girl. She was such a pretty ginger cat.

She had orange eyes!

She looks like she's having a word with God now.
No sitting? I lie down. :) Metal sculpture of something along the lines of: What goes around, comes around. Can you see us in the reflection?

Not very nice composition but I loved the sky... For some reason, the red from the sky was captured on the camera's screen but not when i uploaded it and viewed it on the PC. Meh.

Gorgeous skyline.

Pilgrimmage to a macaron place...! ($3 per macaron. omg. Flown over from Belgium.) Every time I encounter a macaron "degustation" session, I would scrutinize them like a mother in law would scrutinize her future in laws. HAHA. I stare, squint, touch, assess... I'm thinking: which mac is this? French? Italian? What do the feet tell me? What do the shells feel like? Why is it not shiny? Matt? Where is the filling? It's suppose to be visible! Are the shells hollow? Are they fully matured? How does it feel at the first crunch, where's the chewy texture???

The first nom. We had, vanilla, passionfruit chocolate, gingerbread, hazelnut and caramel. They were delicious but I notice something rather interesting. My first bite was met with crunchy shells! It was so odd! It was also biscuity and wafer like. It was CRISPY?! Though the inside was slightly damp looking from the filling. But it was just pure strange. As recommended, i let them rest for a few more minutes before taking another bite The insides did soften but I must say, they still had quite a bit of crispy going on, which I thought was rather odd. And i think I will conclude that it's because they had to fly over from Belgium and being in the dry cabins, the moisture got sucked out. Hm, it's just my hypothesis because I remember when my sister brought the Pierre Herme's macarons back, they also had this same dry, crisp, texture that was biscuity which i thought seemed very contrary to what I thought macarons were suppose to be like. But of course, then again, I've not had macarons STRAIGHT from the store, so I wouldn't know what its original texture was suppose to be. Anyhow, I still enjoyed them, though $3 a pop is quite... bah. Paid for their air ticket to Singapore.

The last nom.

This was the place.

Beautifully lit trees outside. Loved walking along the wooden boardwalk.

The End! :D

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Hey folks! Man... I'm not sure if anyone comes by anymore, other than my dear friend Zzen. :)

Guess I've just been enjoying my time while waiting for my results of the dissertation, which is back. Not too great, not to nasty either. Out of two reviewers, one called for major changes. I'm given 2 months to complete it, but I'm not going to take all that long... Yes, I'm enjoying my student life, but I think it's about time to get out and earn my keep. Time to save for my big day as well... :)

I've been cooking more, doing stuff in the kitchen so that mum doesn't have to prep dinner when she gets home. Which is fine with me. I love cooking Every opportunity i get, i'd do it!

Posted a couple of posts on my food blog... With more to come. *sly smile*

A church mate asked if I would like to be her baker for her wedding dessert table. OH. HOW COULD I GIVE UP THAT OPPORTUNITY?! I'm honestly THRILLED by the prospect. As much as I would LOVE to do table deco, I know I don't have the experience for that, so we're leaving that to her aunt. I'll just be concentrating on the food.

The theme is "summer" and "pink". So I've got a list of 7 items right now (jie and i sat together to think and research), and maybe I've got to think of a few more, that I'm going to propose to her. I'm not going to do all 7 of course. I'm pretty much a one man show, so... it would be too heavy on me! Thankfully, the choices I've picked are not too fussy. Maybe except for the macarons. But those... those are Divas. And Divas are fussy.

So, with these 7 items and more to come, I'll be doing my experimentation and there'll be photos aplenty. Hoo yeah!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Goodbye KTM

Gem and I visited the KTM railway last sunday. It was quite an experience walking along the railway without fear of, you know, getting zapped to death by the power lines or mauled by an oncoming train. The stuff we saw along the way looked so old that it was a little difficult to comprehend that the trains stopped running only just a couple of weeks ago. We felt like we were visiting ancient ruins from another era.

Just some of our snaps from the day. :)

Us. Before starting our 1.6km walk.

Can't have a railway post without the obligatory track photo.

Train traffic light?

Nice shot of a flower by Gem. :)

We saw some tadpoles swimming in surprisingly clear water.

Super duper ultra kazuper ooooolllddd 3 pin socket and switch.

Old BRICK drain. BRICK!

Tall creepy climbies.

Gem's nice shot of a resident dragonfly.

-.-" Me and my nonsense.

Uh. Like I said.

Very hardy wood plank, part of the train track. Had very beautiful grooves, almost like, i quote Gem, "tiger stripes".

The bridge at rifle range road where we got off the tracks.

Top of the bridge.

We were pretty famished, so I actually gave in to our (yes, our) McDonald's cravings. I hardly ever patronize Macs because to me, Macs food isn't real food. Don't ask me for any rational explanations, I have none. My irrational (?) explanation is that the food comes across to me as plasticky. It's only good when it's hot, and once it cools, I feel like I'm biting in fake rubber food.

I was hoping that our little trekking excursion that afternoon would lead us all the way to the rail mall, but fat chance! Haha. It was one looooong short 1.6km trek.

And yes, from now on, all my food rantings will now be logged in to my new wordpress blog. Hopefully I'll still have the time to cook and bake when I start work! In other news... the results of my dissertation is going to be released soon. *quiver*