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I always thought introversion was a disease until I stumbled upon a Ted Talk by Susan Cain about The Power of Introverts. That changed the way I saw myself and all the other introverts I’ve met and known. I’m currently reading her book called Quiet Power and it’s interesting how much it resonates with me. I’m an introvert despite what everyone thinks.



I know what you’re thinking. She’s a social media influencer (use word with caution) and of course she’s an extrovert. Wrong. Social Media is the platform where I am able to express myself through pictures. It’s where I am able to wander into the creative abyss and get inspired. I am able to express myself through the captions, through the garments… through comments and direct messages. I am able to be me… by hitting ‘post’.

I know you’re also thinking that I’m not so bad with communicating with people on a daily basis. I admit. I’m not awful at striking conversations and keeping the conversations going. But in that book, it talks about how while introverts can also have normal conversations, it drains them out faster than extroverts. Which basically means, after a lot of conversations, meeting new people, being in new environments and attending social events… I need to take a step back and be in my own world before I lose it. (Which is why I love being in my room in complete silence with my book or… just some alone time with Youtube and Netflix).

Some people don’t really understand this trait. They take it as being anti-social or sombong. But it really does wear me out sometimes. Don’t get me wrong… I do enjoy meeting new people and attending cool launches and fashion shows. I just need some quiet time after that to keep myself balanced.

I feel like introverts are especially misunderstood… at work… in school… basically anywhere you go they seem to only be rewarding the extroverts who are loud and brave and confident and outspoken. That leaves the introverts being scrutinized as being somewhat empty. People sometimes mistake quietness for having no ideas or questions or opinions. In fact… it’s the opposite. We have too many ideas, too many questions and too many opinions. We overthink everything. I don’t know about you, but I’m very calculative when it comes to formal discussions. I overthink every word that comes out of my mouth. Is my question stupid? Will my opinion offend others? Will my idea be good enough? Sometimes I admire the extroverts and how confident they can be. (Sometimes they can say the darnest things and still look smart).

I’m not against these extroverts. I often try to mingle with them just so I can learn how to be one. The book also mentions how when extroverts and introverts work together, magic can happen because they complement one another. Like Steve Jobs and Stephen Wozniak. Wozniak invented the first Apple computer and Steve Jobs’s charismatic behavior was able to drive it (yet when you think of Apple… you think of Jobs). My point exactly.

I get anxiety attacks every now and then. Not super hyperventilating attacks… but milder dull anxieties in the chest that just would not subside. Probably because I overthink some things but mainly because sometimes circumstances force you to be an extrovert. Like at work… my superior commented how I was being overshadowed by a colleague and I think as my performance bonus depends on it… the only way to stop that from happening is to be more visible. I am definitely up for the challenge… but again I don’t think people understand how much it exhausts me. My colleague is a natural when it comes to voicing out his opinions or being the first to talk. I have to have arguments with myself in my head first. But now I have to not be myself and flip a switch to be this other person. So to him, it would probably just require a glass of water to get his energy back. But to me… I kind of need breakfast, lunch and a nap.

Now you’re thinking, maybe I should just land a job where I’m in the backseat. You’re wrong again. Introverts don’t necessarily want to be at the back all the time. Some also dream of leading. But it’s okay fellow introverts, I got one tip for you. Push yourself to do that damn thing that's giving you anxiety. I sang in front of hundreds of people at the DST Carnival back in 2015 because of this reason. I thought I was going to collapse. Sometimes you have to push yourself to see what you’re capable of. Till this day, when I get the jitters, I tell myself… if I can sing in front of hundreds of people, I can definitely give one presentation in front of the Board. The more you push your boundaries, the more practice you get… and the anxiety will slowly lessen. That doesn't mean you should stop being you. Retreat whenever you need to. There's absolutely nothing wrong with that.


Love,


I'm an introvert, believe me.

Saturday, 26 January 2019


I always thought introversion was a disease until I stumbled upon a Ted Talk by Susan Cain about The Power of Introverts. That changed the way I saw myself and all the other introverts I’ve met and known. I’m currently reading her book called Quiet Power and it’s interesting how much it resonates with me. I’m an introvert despite what everyone thinks.



I know what you’re thinking. She’s a social media influencer (use word with caution) and of course she’s an extrovert. Wrong. Social Media is the platform where I am able to express myself through pictures. It’s where I am able to wander into the creative abyss and get inspired. I am able to express myself through the captions, through the garments… through comments and direct messages. I am able to be me… by hitting ‘post’.

I know you’re also thinking that I’m not so bad with communicating with people on a daily basis. I admit. I’m not awful at striking conversations and keeping the conversations going. But in that book, it talks about how while introverts can also have normal conversations, it drains them out faster than extroverts. Which basically means, after a lot of conversations, meeting new people, being in new environments and attending social events… I need to take a step back and be in my own world before I lose it. (Which is why I love being in my room in complete silence with my book or… just some alone time with Youtube and Netflix).

Some people don’t really understand this trait. They take it as being anti-social or sombong. But it really does wear me out sometimes. Don’t get me wrong… I do enjoy meeting new people and attending cool launches and fashion shows. I just need some quiet time after that to keep myself balanced.

I feel like introverts are especially misunderstood… at work… in school… basically anywhere you go they seem to only be rewarding the extroverts who are loud and brave and confident and outspoken. That leaves the introverts being scrutinized as being somewhat empty. People sometimes mistake quietness for having no ideas or questions or opinions. In fact… it’s the opposite. We have too many ideas, too many questions and too many opinions. We overthink everything. I don’t know about you, but I’m very calculative when it comes to formal discussions. I overthink every word that comes out of my mouth. Is my question stupid? Will my opinion offend others? Will my idea be good enough? Sometimes I admire the extroverts and how confident they can be. (Sometimes they can say the darnest things and still look smart).

I’m not against these extroverts. I often try to mingle with them just so I can learn how to be one. The book also mentions how when extroverts and introverts work together, magic can happen because they complement one another. Like Steve Jobs and Stephen Wozniak. Wozniak invented the first Apple computer and Steve Jobs’s charismatic behavior was able to drive it (yet when you think of Apple… you think of Jobs). My point exactly.

I get anxiety attacks every now and then. Not super hyperventilating attacks… but milder dull anxieties in the chest that just would not subside. Probably because I overthink some things but mainly because sometimes circumstances force you to be an extrovert. Like at work… my superior commented how I was being overshadowed by a colleague and I think as my performance bonus depends on it… the only way to stop that from happening is to be more visible. I am definitely up for the challenge… but again I don’t think people understand how much it exhausts me. My colleague is a natural when it comes to voicing out his opinions or being the first to talk. I have to have arguments with myself in my head first. But now I have to not be myself and flip a switch to be this other person. So to him, it would probably just require a glass of water to get his energy back. But to me… I kind of need breakfast, lunch and a nap.

Now you’re thinking, maybe I should just land a job where I’m in the backseat. You’re wrong again. Introverts don’t necessarily want to be at the back all the time. Some also dream of leading. But it’s okay fellow introverts, I got one tip for you. Push yourself to do that damn thing that's giving you anxiety. I sang in front of hundreds of people at the DST Carnival back in 2015 because of this reason. I thought I was going to collapse. Sometimes you have to push yourself to see what you’re capable of. Till this day, when I get the jitters, I tell myself… if I can sing in front of hundreds of people, I can definitely give one presentation in front of the Board. The more you push your boundaries, the more practice you get… and the anxiety will slowly lessen. That doesn't mean you should stop being you. Retreat whenever you need to. There's absolutely nothing wrong with that.


Love,


I finally have time to blog! Here's one about traveling with the little one that I get asked frequently about. I'm no pro at traveling with babies so feel free to share more tips in the comment section or drop me a DM... because I really want to know! From traveling to UK (Umair's first trip was a long haul flight and thankfully it was a breeze), to KL and Singapore and recently to Seoul (I love Seoul btw!), and taking into account my frequently asked questions on Instagram, this is what I've gathered:




ON THE FLIGHT



1. Pack their toys, snacks and books or have videos ready.
We had to download Pinkfong videos on Youtube for Umair. I'm trying to reduce his screen time so whenever we pull this card out, I feel like such a failure. Sigh. But anyway, when we flew to UK, all he did was drink, sleep, poop, sleep and repeat. Now, he loves running around, plays hide and seek with our seat neighbors and basically wants our unwavering attention. We take out our ammo one by one so it buys us time. So far it seems to work. We've also managed to distract him when we're busy eating, so that's good.


2. Prepare a bottle of milk or a pacifier for take-off and landing.
I know the pacifier is so controversial, but it really calms Umair down in ways I cannot explain. I do get worried about his teeth or his over-reliance but... sometimes I just let it go because he falls asleep as soon as we give it to him. So far, he hasn't been bothered by the air pressure... so I guess feeding him works.

A lot of people ask how we bring our milk formula and bottles onto the plane. I was worried about this too on our first flight but you can actually bring your hot water on-board so not to worry. They understand. We have each bottles pre-filled with room temp water too!


3. Pack socks and extra clothes.
For the baby AND YOURSELF. I remember arriving in London and realizing that it was me smelling like poop. Umair's poop had leaked onto my pants!! And when we were in Seoul, Umair had gotten carsick in the taxi and puked all over himself AND Hazim. I bring socks in case he gets cold on the plane. Probably not necessary for short-haul flights but I still have it packed anyway because even on 1 hour plane rides, my feet gets cold and that would increase trips to the bathroom........






UPON ARRIVAL



4. Food Preparation



6-12 months: Bring your food processor. We brought our trusty Beaba in its travel case. I know some prefer the rice cooker so whichever works. Once you land, you can quickly just drop by a supermarket to get your rice, fruits and vegetables for the whole trip. But if you have no time to do that, you could pack all that too for the x number of days you'll be away (I've done that once).



Above 12 months: Save some porridge/food from the hotel's breakfast in an insulated jar that will last you through lunch hahaha. I love hotel breakfast. Unfortunately, in Seoul we didn't want to pay BND70 per person for breakfast, so that was a bit tricky. We just ordered rice and something simple for Umair wherever we ended up eating. Hazim's the stricter one... no salt, no oil and fried food etc, so we made sure to avoid all that. 

But I suppose at the end of the day, what's important is that your child is fed. Umair has had yoghurt, dimsum, pancakes, omelettes (try eggs at home first please), etc when we're abroad. He LOVES going on holiday, I swear, because when we come back, it's back to eating bland food!




5. Pack your oils


Or whatever works for your baby. I brought these ones from Bellary Nature, a mini tube of Sudocream and a pot of Vicks BabyRub (some may contest but it works on Umair and especially after our trip to UK when he fell sick... I will do whatever it takes to prevent that from happening again!). I use it before we go out in the cold, when he's having a restless night, when he's motion-sick or coughing, etc.




6. Wash your baby bottles
We usually just have his washing liquid in a small travel-sized dispenser and bring a long a laptop-size container that's deep enough to soak his bottles in. I'm really not sure what's the most efficient way. If you have a better idea, let me know!



7. Get an easy stroller


This was the first thing I looked for when we were first looking for strollers. Obviously I wanted the super chic looking Stokke ones but let's be real here... I'm not going to be strolling Umair around in this heat--this isn't Hyde Park in September. My first condition was that it would fold into something I could carry easily and the Baby Zen Yoyo did just that. You fold it and throw it on your shoulders and get on with your day. You can also fit it in the overhead compartments on the plane but we chuck it in cargo now because that's one less thing to carry!



Some people prefer those toddler leashes/harnesses or a carrier because their babies don't like being strapped to a stroller (I don't get why they don't... you just have to sit down and someone pushes you to the next destination while you drink haha). Umair now prefers to walk about btw so we had to get a harness. I'm a paranoid mom and he cannot be more than a metre away from me!




Love,

Trip Tips: Baby Edition

Friday, 14 December 2018

I finally have time to blog! Here's one about traveling with the little one that I get asked frequently about. I'm no pro at traveling with babies so feel free to share more tips in the comment section or drop me a DM... because I really want to know! From traveling to UK (Umair's first trip was a long haul flight and thankfully it was a breeze), to KL and Singapore and recently to Seoul (I love Seoul btw!), and taking into account my frequently asked questions on Instagram, this is what I've gathered:




ON THE FLIGHT



1. Pack their toys, snacks and books or have videos ready.
We had to download Pinkfong videos on Youtube for Umair. I'm trying to reduce his screen time so whenever we pull this card out, I feel like such a failure. Sigh. But anyway, when we flew to UK, all he did was drink, sleep, poop, sleep and repeat. Now, he loves running around, plays hide and seek with our seat neighbors and basically wants our unwavering attention. We take out our ammo one by one so it buys us time. So far it seems to work. We've also managed to distract him when we're busy eating, so that's good.


2. Prepare a bottle of milk or a pacifier for take-off and landing.
I know the pacifier is so controversial, but it really calms Umair down in ways I cannot explain. I do get worried about his teeth or his over-reliance but... sometimes I just let it go because he falls asleep as soon as we give it to him. So far, he hasn't been bothered by the air pressure... so I guess feeding him works.

A lot of people ask how we bring our milk formula and bottles onto the plane. I was worried about this too on our first flight but you can actually bring your hot water on-board so not to worry. They understand. We have each bottles pre-filled with room temp water too!


3. Pack socks and extra clothes.
For the baby AND YOURSELF. I remember arriving in London and realizing that it was me smelling like poop. Umair's poop had leaked onto my pants!! And when we were in Seoul, Umair had gotten carsick in the taxi and puked all over himself AND Hazim. I bring socks in case he gets cold on the plane. Probably not necessary for short-haul flights but I still have it packed anyway because even on 1 hour plane rides, my feet gets cold and that would increase trips to the bathroom........






UPON ARRIVAL



4. Food Preparation



6-12 months: Bring your food processor. We brought our trusty Beaba in its travel case. I know some prefer the rice cooker so whichever works. Once you land, you can quickly just drop by a supermarket to get your rice, fruits and vegetables for the whole trip. But if you have no time to do that, you could pack all that too for the x number of days you'll be away (I've done that once).



Above 12 months: Save some porridge/food from the hotel's breakfast in an insulated jar that will last you through lunch hahaha. I love hotel breakfast. Unfortunately, in Seoul we didn't want to pay BND70 per person for breakfast, so that was a bit tricky. We just ordered rice and something simple for Umair wherever we ended up eating. Hazim's the stricter one... no salt, no oil and fried food etc, so we made sure to avoid all that. 

But I suppose at the end of the day, what's important is that your child is fed. Umair has had yoghurt, dimsum, pancakes, omelettes (try eggs at home first please), etc when we're abroad. He LOVES going on holiday, I swear, because when we come back, it's back to eating bland food!




5. Pack your oils


Or whatever works for your baby. I brought these ones from Bellary Nature, a mini tube of Sudocream and a pot of Vicks BabyRub (some may contest but it works on Umair and especially after our trip to UK when he fell sick... I will do whatever it takes to prevent that from happening again!). I use it before we go out in the cold, when he's having a restless night, when he's motion-sick or coughing, etc.




6. Wash your baby bottles
We usually just have his washing liquid in a small travel-sized dispenser and bring a long a laptop-size container that's deep enough to soak his bottles in. I'm really not sure what's the most efficient way. If you have a better idea, let me know!



7. Get an easy stroller


This was the first thing I looked for when we were first looking for strollers. Obviously I wanted the super chic looking Stokke ones but let's be real here... I'm not going to be strolling Umair around in this heat--this isn't Hyde Park in September. My first condition was that it would fold into something I could carry easily and the Baby Zen Yoyo did just that. You fold it and throw it on your shoulders and get on with your day. You can also fit it in the overhead compartments on the plane but we chuck it in cargo now because that's one less thing to carry!



Some people prefer those toddler leashes/harnesses or a carrier because their babies don't like being strapped to a stroller (I don't get why they don't... you just have to sit down and someone pushes you to the next destination while you drink haha). Umair now prefers to walk about btw so we had to get a harness. I'm a paranoid mom and he cannot be more than a metre away from me!




Love,

Other than wrinkles, dark pigmentation and back aches, there are two other signs of aging that you'll experience. 

1. Diminishing Returns of Materialism, and
2. Increased Propensity to Save.

My first Balenciaga


My recent big purchase was the Dior Saddle Bag and the strap that's paired with it in the Dior influencer campaigns. Now... don't get me wrong... I don't regret purchasing it but I did feel a tiny-sized bullet go through my chest as I was paying for them. There was something else I realized... I didn't feel as ecstatic as I did before. 

I remember my first few designer bags. I was into Balenciaga City Bags and I really wanted them... I may have even cried because I wanted them that much. I think they were one month's worth of student allowance back when I was an undergraduate in Nottingham.  When I graduated from my Masters, I ended up with a Gucci, a Prada, 2 Balenciagas, 6 Bond No. 9 perfumes, loads of shoes... and a whole lot of other luxury items that I was afraid to bring home to my mother. I mean, my parents would have to send me food from home and they'd lecture me every time they see something new. Pretty embarrassing--not proud of it.

Aftermath of Kurt Geiger going on sale - mine and my housemates

I remember being so ecstatic about those purchases I would have hugged them to sleep if I could. But now... I'm not as happy considering the amount I just swiped. I realize that every other new luxury item I purchase, it makes me more happy but the amount of marginal happiness is depreciating. 

What's increasing is my addiction to park money for the future. I get excited about saving now and watching your savings grow makes you even more motivated to save. I can give you savings tips--maybe next time. Wow, I feel so adult. I never thought I would get here, but here I am. I think twice before swiping my credit card. I got my insurances and retirement plans set (scarily, it still isn't enough for me to maintain my current lifestyle when I retire). I've parked a little in investments and my car loan is paid off. 

I do wonder if I'll ever feel that level of euphoria again. I think the last time I really loved a luxury purchase was in 2014 and it was a pair of Louboutins. But this is good! I will remind myself every time I want a new bag whether it'll make me crazy happy or just mediocre happy. If it's the latter, it's definitely not worth it. 





I do still splurge on myself from time to time. I am a girl after all and a professional shopaholic. Once in a while, I get myself an expensive dress or spend a bit too much on skincare (another sign of aging btw is when you choose skincare over makeup) but now I can feel that I have more control over my impulses. If I don't need it or if there's a cheaper option, out my cart it goes. 




Love,

Diminishing Returns of Materialism

Saturday, 3 November 2018

Other than wrinkles, dark pigmentation and back aches, there are two other signs of aging that you'll experience. 

1. Diminishing Returns of Materialism, and
2. Increased Propensity to Save.

My first Balenciaga


My recent big purchase was the Dior Saddle Bag and the strap that's paired with it in the Dior influencer campaigns. Now... don't get me wrong... I don't regret purchasing it but I did feel a tiny-sized bullet go through my chest as I was paying for them. There was something else I realized... I didn't feel as ecstatic as I did before. 

I remember my first few designer bags. I was into Balenciaga City Bags and I really wanted them... I may have even cried because I wanted them that much. I think they were one month's worth of student allowance back when I was an undergraduate in Nottingham.  When I graduated from my Masters, I ended up with a Gucci, a Prada, 2 Balenciagas, 6 Bond No. 9 perfumes, loads of shoes... and a whole lot of other luxury items that I was afraid to bring home to my mother. I mean, my parents would have to send me food from home and they'd lecture me every time they see something new. Pretty embarrassing--not proud of it.

Aftermath of Kurt Geiger going on sale - mine and my housemates

I remember being so ecstatic about those purchases I would have hugged them to sleep if I could. But now... I'm not as happy considering the amount I just swiped. I realize that every other new luxury item I purchase, it makes me more happy but the amount of marginal happiness is depreciating. 

What's increasing is my addiction to park money for the future. I get excited about saving now and watching your savings grow makes you even more motivated to save. I can give you savings tips--maybe next time. Wow, I feel so adult. I never thought I would get here, but here I am. I think twice before swiping my credit card. I got my insurances and retirement plans set (scarily, it still isn't enough for me to maintain my current lifestyle when I retire). I've parked a little in investments and my car loan is paid off. 

I do wonder if I'll ever feel that level of euphoria again. I think the last time I really loved a luxury purchase was in 2014 and it was a pair of Louboutins. But this is good! I will remind myself every time I want a new bag whether it'll make me crazy happy or just mediocre happy. If it's the latter, it's definitely not worth it. 





I do still splurge on myself from time to time. I am a girl after all and a professional shopaholic. Once in a while, I get myself an expensive dress or spend a bit too much on skincare (another sign of aging btw is when you choose skincare over makeup) but now I can feel that I have more control over my impulses. If I don't need it or if there's a cheaper option, out my cart it goes. 




Love,

I'm in the middle of Season 10 of Grey's Anatomy now. I know... I'm kind of late to the game and never really understood the craze but I'm definitely on board now. Anyway, I just passed the episodes where Meredith was feeling like she had to prove that she was a good surgeon despite being a mom. Sometimes it's really odd when things around you mirror your exact feelings be it a song or a movie or in this case... a popular medical series.



Ever since I had my son, I've felt the need to prove to people at work that I can do my job well despite having to go to doctor's appointments during office hours and what not. This on top of feeling like I have to prove that I'm not a bimbo airhead who's into fashion and beauty only. I've cried myself to sleep, had anxiety attacks and felt a little down... all because I feel like I'm not up to a certain standard or on par with people who can work after hours and read emails at 9PM (in a work environment that I feel penalizes those who don't btw). I've dialed down my social media presence enough so I can give in extra hours to do work but not enough for brands to stop working with me. 


You want to know what's more ridiculous? My work guilt is sometimes bigger than my mom guilt... which in turn makes me feel more guilty because I feel like such a horrible mom! When my team stays late til 7PM... I feel more guilty leaving them than I do not spending time with my baby... MY BABY?! My baby who's growing up too fast and sooner or later will not want to spend time with me. What is the matter with me?

The feminist in me also refuses to back down at the office because for years people fought for our rights and we're now able to go to work and earn money for ourselves. I loathe every time I hear someone make 'maternity leave' as an excuse. Like... oh we need more men in the workforce because women go on maternity leave for three months. I'm going to leave it at that now because that's a topic all on it's own. But anyway working moms, I want you to know that you are not alone. The point of this post is to let you know that we're all in this together.

I still go through these phases... but I haven't given up at work. I do everything I can and as much as I can when I'm on my desk. But I try really hard to allocate my time after hours (6.30PM max at the office) and during weekends for my family. I don't do work when I'm at home or when I'm on leave. I don't beat myself up every time I feel I'm a bit behind because of it. I get up... and catch up and move on. I just needed to stop doing that to myself. 

There's that quote... I forget. But it was about... setting your priorities straight. It was about... giving people the time they deserved. It was about... putting time and effort with your family. The quote was about choosing between your career and the people you love. It reminded me that while your job can replace you in a second, your son looks at you like you're the best thing on the planet and you're irreplaceable.

As much as we want to give 100% to both motherhood and our careers... we only have 100% to give. I still have my daily battles but I think I'm winning. I just need to make sure I still perform at work, I'm on top of things, I'm able to solve problems... and if it seems like my colleagues are better than me because they can give their full 100% at their job and do work til 11PM... I'm not going to feel like I'm inadequate. I'm not going to blame motherhood or myself. I may cry... But I'll still kick ass the next day.

Tell me I'm not alone.


Love,


Good Mom vs Good Career

Saturday, 27 October 2018

I'm in the middle of Season 10 of Grey's Anatomy now. I know... I'm kind of late to the game and never really understood the craze but I'm definitely on board now. Anyway, I just passed the episodes where Meredith was feeling like she had to prove that she was a good surgeon despite being a mom. Sometimes it's really odd when things around you mirror your exact feelings be it a song or a movie or in this case... a popular medical series.



Ever since I had my son, I've felt the need to prove to people at work that I can do my job well despite having to go to doctor's appointments during office hours and what not. This on top of feeling like I have to prove that I'm not a bimbo airhead who's into fashion and beauty only. I've cried myself to sleep, had anxiety attacks and felt a little down... all because I feel like I'm not up to a certain standard or on par with people who can work after hours and read emails at 9PM (in a work environment that I feel penalizes those who don't btw). I've dialed down my social media presence enough so I can give in extra hours to do work but not enough for brands to stop working with me. 


You want to know what's more ridiculous? My work guilt is sometimes bigger than my mom guilt... which in turn makes me feel more guilty because I feel like such a horrible mom! When my team stays late til 7PM... I feel more guilty leaving them than I do not spending time with my baby... MY BABY?! My baby who's growing up too fast and sooner or later will not want to spend time with me. What is the matter with me?

The feminist in me also refuses to back down at the office because for years people fought for our rights and we're now able to go to work and earn money for ourselves. I loathe every time I hear someone make 'maternity leave' as an excuse. Like... oh we need more men in the workforce because women go on maternity leave for three months. I'm going to leave it at that now because that's a topic all on it's own. But anyway working moms, I want you to know that you are not alone. The point of this post is to let you know that we're all in this together.

I still go through these phases... but I haven't given up at work. I do everything I can and as much as I can when I'm on my desk. But I try really hard to allocate my time after hours (6.30PM max at the office) and during weekends for my family. I don't do work when I'm at home or when I'm on leave. I don't beat myself up every time I feel I'm a bit behind because of it. I get up... and catch up and move on. I just needed to stop doing that to myself. 

There's that quote... I forget. But it was about... setting your priorities straight. It was about... giving people the time they deserved. It was about... putting time and effort with your family. The quote was about choosing between your career and the people you love. It reminded me that while your job can replace you in a second, your son looks at you like you're the best thing on the planet and you're irreplaceable.

As much as we want to give 100% to both motherhood and our careers... we only have 100% to give. I still have my daily battles but I think I'm winning. I just need to make sure I still perform at work, I'm on top of things, I'm able to solve problems... and if it seems like my colleagues are better than me because they can give their full 100% at their job and do work til 11PM... I'm not going to feel like I'm inadequate. I'm not going to blame motherhood or myself. I may cry... But I'll still kick ass the next day.

Tell me I'm not alone.


Love,


Apart from my wonderful mom and dad, my greatest blessing is my husband. Umair comes pretty close (so close, I can't tell sometimes) but I know that Hazim is number 1. He's so amazing and I wouldn't have been able to do everything that I've done without him. He has been my biggest support system from the first day we met up until now. From O's to A's to university to postgraduate to finding a job to Umair... he's been there next to me through it all. He's my King. 




How did we meet?
Hazim and I met during a RoboTech inter-school competition. (Okay, you can laugh). At the mall. (Go ahead, laugh at my cliche love story). I was representing my all-girls high-school, and Hazim was there to support his schoolmates. We were 15 and in Form 5. (Quite frankly, I was a nerd and enjoyed building that robot mouse with my team mates from scratch. Shout out to my Physics Teacher, Sir Leong! We also managed to go home second place, so GO GIRLS!)

I was with one of my best friends, M, and I was telling her how I thought that this one tall guy was handsome! She suddenly shrieked out of disgust 'EW! That's my cousin!' but gladly enough she introduced us and we started chatting on MSN. But things didn't start yet. Mostly because O's was about to start #GoodGirl.

How long have you been together?
We started officially dating (tsk tsk tsk) during our first week in Sixth Form. That was back in 2006. 11 years later, we're 4 years married with a son. Alhamdulillah. We studied in Nottingham and London together, and now we work in the same building. Some people ask if it ever annoys us that we see each other too much. I honestly don't get it. First of all, I don't have to drive to work. Second of all, when we talk about other people we know who the other person is referring to! Hahaha. Okay in all seriousness, being able to see Hazim almost every single day since 2006 has been a gift! He's my best friend.  




6 things that kept us together.
I initially typed out '10' but couldn't think of that many haha. Okay first and foremost, we are not perfect... whose relationship is, right? But if you ask me, what made us last this long... I think it's because:

1. We fight.
I think it's important to not hold things in. I'm never one to keep mum if things bother me because if I do, it'll blow up out of proportion in the end over something so small and Hazim will think I'm making it a big deal when it's actually about 100 other things I never told him about. I love it that whenever we're upset and hurt about a few things, we talk it out until we feel better. Key word being talk--don't nag (I'm still working on that fyi).



2. We forgive.
Everyone makes mistakes as cliche as it sounds but it's really important that when someone makes a mistake, you forgive them. You try to understand them with an open-mind and you do not judge them. It's part of accepting one's flaws and loving unconditionally I suppose. Frankly, I'm the type to hold grudges and I'm not very forgiving, but Hazim has taught me how to. He showed me how to be kinder and how to think of why the other person did whatever it is they have done.

3.  Hazim said it's important to not take things to heart.
He's such a boy. 

Obviously, we take things to heart. All the time. If he says hi abruptly, you take it to heart that he doesn't care. If he can't decide where to take you to eat, you take it to heart that he doesn't care. If he doesn't tell you your beautiful after you've spent 4 hours dolling up... you get the drift.

But he has a point. We shouldn't be taking things to heart. I always constantly remind myself that we're with each other 24/7 now--it's a marriage--and when you're spending forever with someone, they're bound to do something that would upset you. So yes, I think he's completely right on this one.

4. Celebrate the little things.
We also celebrate the little things too, not just your anniversary or your birthdays. But all those other dates in between or before that, that we always celebrate to keep us reminded of whatever we've gone through. I don't know about you, but my memory can store up to 5 years worth of data (10 if I'm lucky)... so all this constant reminding is good for me and hopefully would remind him how super cute I was hahaha. 

5. We're super silly and goofy 
Like really. We're two of the uncoolest people on this planet and we're hilariously lame. We sing and dance (horribly) in the car and make terrible jokes and laugh at ourselves. I don't think I could ever be with someone who always kept their cool. I mean, I get bored easily, so keeping me entertained is probably key.

6. Putting effort in big events
Okay, some might argue that this is highly unnecessary. But to me it is because I value big gestures (if you don't, then great... you can skip this). Blame all the rom-coms that I've watched growing up. Thankfully, Hazim is great at it. Maybe I'll talk about this more later on. I've also learnt that I should be fair and put more effort into planning his birthday and his gifts or just surprising him on a random day. It's nice. But obviously Hazim is better at this than I am.

Well, that's all I got so far. It's all about putting in the work isn't it? Stories only tell you about the thrill of the chase but they never talk about what happens after happily ever after. Will keep you updated if I have more... or better, tell me yours! Speak soon!

Love,

Mr Lipstickmyname and 6 things that kept us together

Tuesday, 21 August 2018

Apart from my wonderful mom and dad, my greatest blessing is my husband. Umair comes pretty close (so close, I can't tell sometimes) but I know that Hazim is number 1. He's so amazing and I wouldn't have been able to do everything that I've done without him. He has been my biggest support system from the first day we met up until now. From O's to A's to university to postgraduate to finding a job to Umair... he's been there next to me through it all. He's my King. 




How did we meet?
Hazim and I met during a RoboTech inter-school competition. (Okay, you can laugh). At the mall. (Go ahead, laugh at my cliche love story). I was representing my all-girls high-school, and Hazim was there to support his schoolmates. We were 15 and in Form 5. (Quite frankly, I was a nerd and enjoyed building that robot mouse with my team mates from scratch. Shout out to my Physics Teacher, Sir Leong! We also managed to go home second place, so GO GIRLS!)

I was with one of my best friends, M, and I was telling her how I thought that this one tall guy was handsome! She suddenly shrieked out of disgust 'EW! That's my cousin!' but gladly enough she introduced us and we started chatting on MSN. But things didn't start yet. Mostly because O's was about to start #GoodGirl.

How long have you been together?
We started officially dating (tsk tsk tsk) during our first week in Sixth Form. That was back in 2006. 11 years later, we're 4 years married with a son. Alhamdulillah. We studied in Nottingham and London together, and now we work in the same building. Some people ask if it ever annoys us that we see each other too much. I honestly don't get it. First of all, I don't have to drive to work. Second of all, when we talk about other people we know who the other person is referring to! Hahaha. Okay in all seriousness, being able to see Hazim almost every single day since 2006 has been a gift! He's my best friend.  




6 things that kept us together.
I initially typed out '10' but couldn't think of that many haha. Okay first and foremost, we are not perfect... whose relationship is, right? But if you ask me, what made us last this long... I think it's because:

1. We fight.
I think it's important to not hold things in. I'm never one to keep mum if things bother me because if I do, it'll blow up out of proportion in the end over something so small and Hazim will think I'm making it a big deal when it's actually about 100 other things I never told him about. I love it that whenever we're upset and hurt about a few things, we talk it out until we feel better. Key word being talk--don't nag (I'm still working on that fyi).



2. We forgive.
Everyone makes mistakes as cliche as it sounds but it's really important that when someone makes a mistake, you forgive them. You try to understand them with an open-mind and you do not judge them. It's part of accepting one's flaws and loving unconditionally I suppose. Frankly, I'm the type to hold grudges and I'm not very forgiving, but Hazim has taught me how to. He showed me how to be kinder and how to think of why the other person did whatever it is they have done.

3.  Hazim said it's important to not take things to heart.
He's such a boy. 

Obviously, we take things to heart. All the time. If he says hi abruptly, you take it to heart that he doesn't care. If he can't decide where to take you to eat, you take it to heart that he doesn't care. If he doesn't tell you your beautiful after you've spent 4 hours dolling up... you get the drift.

But he has a point. We shouldn't be taking things to heart. I always constantly remind myself that we're with each other 24/7 now--it's a marriage--and when you're spending forever with someone, they're bound to do something that would upset you. So yes, I think he's completely right on this one.

4. Celebrate the little things.
We also celebrate the little things too, not just your anniversary or your birthdays. But all those other dates in between or before that, that we always celebrate to keep us reminded of whatever we've gone through. I don't know about you, but my memory can store up to 5 years worth of data (10 if I'm lucky)... so all this constant reminding is good for me and hopefully would remind him how super cute I was hahaha. 

5. We're super silly and goofy 
Like really. We're two of the uncoolest people on this planet and we're hilariously lame. We sing and dance (horribly) in the car and make terrible jokes and laugh at ourselves. I don't think I could ever be with someone who always kept their cool. I mean, I get bored easily, so keeping me entertained is probably key.

6. Putting effort in big events
Okay, some might argue that this is highly unnecessary. But to me it is because I value big gestures (if you don't, then great... you can skip this). Blame all the rom-coms that I've watched growing up. Thankfully, Hazim is great at it. Maybe I'll talk about this more later on. I've also learnt that I should be fair and put more effort into planning his birthday and his gifts or just surprising him on a random day. It's nice. But obviously Hazim is better at this than I am.

Well, that's all I got so far. It's all about putting in the work isn't it? Stories only tell you about the thrill of the chase but they never talk about what happens after happily ever after. Will keep you updated if I have more... or better, tell me yours! Speak soon!

Love,

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