My Alter Ego Story

Friday 6 October 2017

A few people have asked me how I manage both my day job and LMN. From Monday to Friday, I wear the baju kurung--our formal work attire--in low heels and (sometimes) completely bare-faced in front of the laptop, scribbling notes, attending meetings and preparing presentations. Saturday and Sunday, my dresscode's a little different. 

How do I juggle between both worlds?
When people ask me this, I'm usually baffled by the word 'juggle'. I mean it isn't wrong... but to me the word itself implies there's a certain imbalance and instability--like any moment now, these two worlds will slip out of my hands if I make the wrong move. Although, there is some truth to that, in my head it's more like a switch button. It's about knowing when to switch on and off, it's about prioritising and being organised.

Now... how do I actually manage between the two?
I love both worlds. Alhamdulillah, where I'm working now is where I've always imagined myself to be. I love working for my country; it is such a great honour. It's what I studied for. It's what I had always dreamt of doing. It's what I owe. So when it's time to do work, it's time to do work. And not just half-arsed work.

During the week, I also organise what I want to post. So say I have two posts to do on a weekend and I have to come in to the office on a Saturday, I'll take the photo on Friday after work and post it the next day. I also usually take a few shots of an outfit for days when I can't take a photo just to keep the momentum going. So... Switching on and off, prioritising and organising.

Do I get stressed out?
I only get stressed out when I think I'm not doing good enough. I'm always worried that people would judge me for doing what I do (I'm sure, some do, hello to you... what are you doing here?) or even question whether I'm good at my job. It's contradicting, right? It's like Arnold Schwarzenegger becoming a Senate. Can you really take him seriously if he's also the Terminator? But like... why can you only do one thing? And why can't I like both my job and wearing nice clothes?

Because of that fear, I make sure I always give 110% during the week. Sometimes, I think it's a little unhealthy because the second I make the smallest mistake, I beat myself up for it and it just affects my productivity a little bit because my mind just chooses to fixate on that one tiny mistake that I can't seem to forgive myself for. Yeah... I need to chill. I've been better, though. Princess Elsa taught me to let it go.

I also get a little pressured when the photo I'm posting is a collaboration. After all, it should be a win-win situation, especially if it's a paid partnership. It is your duty as a blogger to direct your followers their way (said blogger must also believe in the product being advertised or gives their honest opinion). Even if the agreement is for one post, if I feel I didn't do good enough for the brand, I'd try to deliver another post for them.

What are the challenges?
I just mentioned 'honest opinion'. Sometimes I feel like people think I'm not honest. Do people think that being honest means to bash someone's product publicly? No. That's not my jam. If it's not meant for me, I'll say it nicely but you'll have to read between the lines. Plus, if I'm crazy about something, you'll know because I'm probably always wearing it. I'm not going to bash someone's clothes just because I don't like it on me. I don't like instant headscarves on me, but it looks good on millions of other girls. So? 

Another challenge is probably also where I'm based. There are more events and collaborations happening abroad. But I'm not moving anytime soon so it's something that'll I'll just have to overcome.

Defining my style is also a challenge. I try to move away from being associated with Muslimah Fashion because being in that group comes with great responsibility (and public judgement), which I am still far from. I'm not perfect. Sometimes my trousers are not long enough and my ankles show (And sometimes my feet are black. heh I've had an internet troll comment on my dark-coloured feet once). 

Do I ever feel like quitting?
HAHAHA. Well... we all have that dream of saving up and investing so we can retire early. But not until I feel like I've made some sort of impact. (SUCH A MILLENIAL THING TO SAY!) Do I want to quit to pursue blogging full-time? Honestly, in other countries, it could be a sustainable profession like Song of Style. But not here. Not yet. You'll have to cross many borders and be very huge to be able to sustain yourself. It's not impossible. It's a lot of hard work. And money.



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