Category Archives: Personal

Reflection

A recent spate of events reminded me of how sometimes, I become my very own worse critic.

I treat people with respect, patience and kindness but sometimes I forget that it is equally, if not more important to treat myself with patience and kindness.

So today, I will dust off the wounds and accept that it is okay to fail from time to time.

The more important lesson is, how can I learn from this mistake and be a better Charlene tomorrow.

On a side note, the hubby is making huge inroads in his (new) business. I put new in parentheses because I’m not sure if 1.5 years is still classified as new. Intelligence, persistence, diligence and courage are some of the values that he has exemplified over the last 2 years and I couldn’t be more proud of him! I seldom use the word deserved, because I find it somewhat entitled but I’m going to make the exception and say that he deserves all the success he’s going to get from this business, because of the crazy ass amount of work that he has put into it!

My smart little puppy! *pats pats*

It has been a while, Singapore

Yesterday, I presented my first presentation of graduate school and it was quite a blast. Both for me and my classmates. I had a lot of fun presenting and my classmates had a good laugh.

The project was a contemporary applications presentation, where I was supposed to find a contemporary application topic in my everyday life and relate it to the learning theories that I’ve learnt in class. I decided to do something close to my heart and presented on “Re-learning to live in NYC”, in which I talked about all the things I’ve learnt since moving here. I related learning theories to: why I made those  mistakes in the first place and had the class in stitches. I used social cultural theories, behaviorism and social cognitive theories.

After the class, I got “fist bumps” from my classmate and remarks of “You killed it.”  Which was very interesting because my peers’ reaction would be very different had I presented a similar topic in Singapore. A visiting lecturer, who was sitting in class to observe my professor, told me that I should consider writing a memoir or join UCB (Upright Citizen’s Brigade), which is some comedy training centre. I was thinking to myself, really? Was it that hilarious? I’m only reciting stories/misconceptions I had when I first moved here!

Nonetheless, I really enjoyed what I did. Now I’m thinking, I really need to find a thesis topic that’s closely related to what I did today! Because, one must try to do things, that makes the heart smile!

Happy Tuesday everyone! I hope you had as good of a start to the week as I did!

Oh why the title? I realized that I left Singapore officially in 2013, which wasn’t all that long really, but somehow my current life now seems to overshadow all that I left behind. In essence, it isn’t such a bad thing because it means I am making the most out of my time here and embracing THE NOW.

Going back to school was one of the best decisions I’ve made since coming here! I’m learning a lot not only in terms of content material but also learning a lot through observing the people around me. I am not just making friends with tech people (thru Kris)  or migrant housewives or sojourned Singaporeans. I feel like I’m finally getting to know real Americans in my own domains!

Just for good measure

*fist bumps* from my left hand to my right hand!

On a side note, we called Kris’s gramma the other day and she told me, “Oh, why do you want to go back to school?, what about making babies?, I would like to see my great grandkids, I’m not getting younger you know!.”

She’s adorable! Once you’re 90+ you can pretty much get away with saying anything!

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Changing Perspectives – Adaptation

When I first moved here, I met one of Kris’s friend who never failed to ask me, “So how Charlene, isn’t New York City the greatest ever.” Back then, I didn’t feel like it was the greatest city at all. I had just moved away from my family and friends, I left a stable job, I knew zero people in this city and Kris was at work all day. I didn’t know what to do with all this free time, I felt really lonely inside, and everything felt uncomfortably foreign. I couldn’t give him the answer he wanted and I didn’t want to lie either, so I just smiled and shrugged.

 

Circa Summer 2014 and now Manhattan feels like home. Our apartment – a sanctuary that we both have built together with love and the growing bonds of our marriage. I felt this very strongly during a recent visit to Singapore, the past couple of times I left the country (Singapore) I would be sad and felt this deep sinking feeling in my heart and throat. This time, I found myself excited to go back to NYC, excited to start school and excited to be home. A home — where I have been painstakingly caring for, rearranging, decorating and filling with little stuff that meant something to us, a welcoming respite from the urban jungle in which we lived in. Don’t get me wrong, I still miss family, friends and truly enjoyed spending time in Singapore but I also feel that now I have a family/home in New York. I have found my way in this seemingly unfriendly and cut throat city, carved out a space that belonged to me and rekindled a ‘relationship’ with myself. Emotionally I am so much stronger and happier now; far more comfortable than I have been in a long time. I feel confident of my abilities to be alone, to thrive in a new city. I like making new friends, but I’m also very happy to be eating, reading, exercising or even partaking in any activity that traditionally involved more people -by myself and truly enjoying the solitude. The comfort of my new found independence is truly liberating.

 

I’m hoping that the new direction (grad school) I’m taking in my life will challenge me enough to grow into a better person. More importantly, I hope to find a vocation that allows me a deeper sense of purpose, something that allows me to make my surroundings and the people I interact with happier. My goal is to make education an accessible privilege to all and for it to better bridge socio-economic divides. I’m not sure what or how I’m going to do it, but I’m going to try to get there.

 

In short, I am proud to say that I have *ahem” crossed over that uneasy (and necessary, if I may) transitional bridge of international migration and look forward to more exciting adventures here and everywhere my our heart desires.  (I have a partner in crime now, so I can’t leave him behind :P)

Project Grateful 365: Day 187 Grateful for myself!

Today I am grateful for myself, for 5 days I felt like I was in a rut! Super angry with all the sour lemons that got throw my way, worried about the future and so so so frustrated.

I didn’t want to do anything, go anywhere or meet anyone. But I forced myself** to just SUCK IT ALL bloody up and focus on the good! So I did! I crawled out of the deep dark hole that I partially dug for my own self and started going out more and restarted my exercise regime!

The result is more new friends! and a more positive outlook in life!

So I’m proud of myself and grateful for myself. This move and stagnation in life has been hard, but I’m better than all the difficulties and challenges in life. I am not perfect but I’m going to fight so very hard to get the things I deserve in life!

 

 

 

**(not without the help of my loved ones of course! Listening to me rant and being patient with me. THANK YOU!!!!!)

Project Grateful 365: Grateful for a Warm and Cute cuppa tea!

Project Grateful 365: Day 98

Grateful for a Warm and Cute cuppa tea!

11th Feb 2013

Today was cold, rainy and dreary. So I’m super grateful that I don’t need to work and can curl at home with a warm cuppa cranberry tea.

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*BLISSED OUT*

If this is what retirement feels like, I’m diggin’ it!