Sunday, August 3, 2014


It's hard to cope when someone you've held close all these years begins drifting farther away from you. Falling in love is exciting and the prospect of being loved in return is one that I have always cherished and hoped for from my other half.

But I guess people can change in the end and I don't think I'm strong enough to hold myself together...but I have to because nobody else is here for me anymore. What a sad day this is. I thought we had a special bond but when you're telling me you have nothing to say to my face knowing that I'm upset and crying, that's the cut-off point for me. It's happened many times too.

Sigh. I'll try to hang in there I guess.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Run #1: Forward a step at a time?

So I've registered to run Standard Chartered KL Marathon's 10km race in the "speed" category (cut-off time is at 75 minutes). I initially decided on the half-marathon (21km) thinking since it's about the same distance as the Viper Challenge and I had originally intended to go for the VC (but it's filled up now), why not run a half to make up for it? That was until I saw what training for a half would be like. Half-marathon training plans for beginner runners were ample online but most recommended that you already have some experience running races (5km, 10km) or that you're already clocking in some decent mileage from weekly runs. I had neither. I would be more experienced in the gym but am completely new to running outdoors so I figured training for a 10km race would be easier to transition into; especially given my current fitness level and how much more of a beating my body would take if I pushed too hard training for a long-distance run. Last thing I'd want is a major injury.

Now that's out of the way, I'm proud to say I've began training today! The event is on Oct 12, which gives me about 20 weeks worth of training. I'm aiming for a good time on the 10km so the more time to train, the better prepared I'd be come d-day (at least that's the plan!). It was my first run outdoors in almost a decade so I was ill-prepared when it came to tracking the run but I am hoping to find a good watch soon. I ran in my first new pair of 2XU compression tights and they were so comfortable (and looked amazing)! I've worked out in compression gear before but most were uncomfortably tight and bunched in places. Seeing how expensive these tights are (AUD140 but Malaysian retail is atrociously marked-up) I am hoping I'll get a lot of use off them and that they'll last a while.
They come in a number of variants (where the decals are coloured but tights remain black) but I opted for black on black, as pictured above. 
A lazy screenshot of the route via MapMyRun

I ran around my residential area which also happens to be where Charles, a classmate from high school, resides. So we met outside my place and ran from there. We ran-walked for a little over an hour and covered most of the hilly and sloped roads, with a total distance of around 6.7–7km. Running on road is definitely a lot tougher than on the treadmill but the challenging terrain made it very enjoyable. A pre-run warm-up ensured I didn't cramp up so I'm definitely sticking to the same warm-up routine (Youtubed one just prior to the run & it turned out to be magical).

So yeah I guess that's about it for now.

Monday, April 14, 2014

I've let myself go

These past few years have shown me how one's thoughts and attitude towards life can change just about anything you have going on. I wasn't happy and would repress my frustrations with school and social life (or lack thereof) by finding very temporary "feel-good" solutions like binge eating, retail therapy, procrastination, and sleeping afternoons away. I let depression get to me and have been the lowest I've been all these years. I convinced myself that I was a victim of a failing relationship, backstabbing, and having low self-esteem and often relied on cues from others to remind myself that I was still someone worthy of something and to not let anyone get to me. This mindset alone led me down a dangerous path as I became increasingly sensitive to other people's actions and words towards me and it did not help that I felt that I was "alone" in my personal struggle despite having some people around, with whom I've divulged bits of my problems. 

My mind was (and still is) cluttered with worry, anxiety and a lingering fear of never being able to achieve something or to never be lauded for anything. This clutter has manifested itself in my unhealthy physique, messy room and my failing university. I didn't know what I wanted for myself anymore when it came to my relationships, studies and personal growth. I've fallen out of my social circles and feel estranged. It felt for a moment like my boyfriend (with whom I am in a long-distance relationship) prioritised everything but the relationship. I felt lonely and I didn't know who to call and was constantly afraid that my presence was never going to be appreciated by anyone anymore. This is all tied of course to my dwindling self-esteem and with how I've gained so much weight since feeling depressed. It's a vicious cycle where I'd feel down and would then indulge in something unhealthy (staying up late, binge eating, avoiding commitment with school or a health regimen, being reclusive because I didn't want others to see what I've become) and that would lead back to me being and feeling worse off than before. 

I keep telling myself every waking moment that the next step for change and progress was by doing this or that yet I would procrastinate that because I've become somewhat indifferent to my current predicament. It's been happening for so long that I've become almost completely demotivated to improve. Yet here I am now writing this. My failure with business school opened a door for me to pursue something of my choice and I guess that has sparked some hope in me. I know I'm capable of great things, just like anyone else, and that only hard work and discipline is keeping me from feeling content like how I once did. So I am taking the first step to recovery now. I guess I've gotten so low that if I were to let myself go any further, I'd break my spirit for good; and I fear that. If anything I want to quit being so lost in my worries and just be a little more proactive in turning my life back around. Everyone has their struggles and I believe this is mine and I think it is about time I committed to something worthwhile; something worth the hard work and discipline; and that would be to get back on my feet again, even if I have to do most of it alone. It's like knowing I've been through emotional hell and by still being here, means that I've endured and that if I bounced back, I'd be stronger. 

I guess I miss the old me; before all the things that went wrong did go wrong. Life does change a person that I agree but going forwards or backwards depends on how you will it. I'm tired of playing victim and feeling helpless. If anything I want to do something for myself this year; get back in shape, free my mind from clutter, and do my talents justice. Talk is cheap and achieving all this would not be without serious commitment and discipline, both of which I have always struggled with since everything went downhill. But something about this goal just feels right in that it is entirely about ME. I've not loved myself for so long and typing this is bringing me to tears because of how I've been so susceptible to giving up on myself but never ceasing to help someone else. This is an injustice both to myself and those I care for as they've ended up worrying about me too. I guess it is true that you can't really care for others to your best ability if you do not first care about yourself. 

My main goals are to do well at design school and run my first half-marathon. I think these are achievable and would entail the many changes I seek for repairing my body, will and self-esteem. 

I am glad I've written all of this so that I can come back to this if I start losing my grip again. I don't want my current being to define who I am because I know I am better than this. I have so much potential in me so there is no way I can continue letting something so intangible undermine all of the good I see in myself. So here's to a long, arduous road to recovery and I'll start by cleaning my room. 

Monday, March 31, 2014

2014 update: So I quit school...

Wow let me start by saying sorry to this blog for being left in stagnation for so long; and to the people who had been readers when this blog was active (that is, people who had been constantly checking in here). I say had because I think most people would have got the memo that I was leaving this blog for dead and never came back after. Wait so just who is this post for? Uh...whoever that's left I guess. 

So 2014 has brought many changes...ok many small ones and just one big one. Ok no, maybe just the big one's worth mentioning. Uh...yeah ok. 


Bear with me. 

I quit school. 

Disclaimer: Yes, I know I am fortunate enough to be provided with everything I need to survive and live comfortably and that I should be grateful that I don't have to balance school and part-time work or pay for my education. Yes, I know whinging that a course at one of the world's top universities is "not for me" may piss some highly insensitive and judgmental people off but hey, it's the 21st century, times have changed and let's not compare my life to that of a starving child in a slum somewhere with no access to education at all let alone clean water etc. I've had to deal with enough condescending remarks from just about everyone (family to friends to strangers). If this will piss you off, you 1. don't know me personally or enough; so 2. bugger off. Thanks!

More like, quit four years of university. Not just any university, but Monash. Ok it's not Oxford or an Ivy League school but Monash was still pretty up there. More specifically, I quit a business degree majoring in accounting. 

I hated it. 

So why stay for four years? Why not stay with Monash but switch degree programmes or majors? 

Sigh that's what everyone asks me (or rather people whom I don't talk with much) when I break the news to them. Let me break it down: 

1. Why wait four years? I was naive to say the least. I knew nothing when I was enrolled in university and even less when it came to my study options. I went with what I thought was best for me or rather what I was made to think was in my best interest. Nearly every member of my family has a business degree and most majored in accounting (dad being one of them). So naturally I was coerced into a degree programme that I knew very little of, much less it being anything that suited my interests (art, music, fashion design, interior design, architecture).

Results during my first semester were far below average; I had failed half of the units undertaken and I was distraught. All the research into what my degree actually was and what my future career path entailed did nothing to ignite any interest. I was very capable academically but did not feel any motivation in keeping up with weekly study commitments; for the units I did pass, I studied very little and exam prep was very last-minute; and on research essays that I put effort into, I'd usually get an average minimum mark of 80%. So I knew I definitely wasn't struggling with the workload or difficulty of the course, but rather my ability to keep my head in the game. I saw failure as a personal inability to keep up with my peers and kept wanting to prove my parents wrong; that I was capable of being like them when they were once where I was now. I kept telling myself this after constantly doing bad at university semester after semester.

My parents did offer me the chance to quit in my second and third year but I felt so upset with my inability to prove my worth that I kept saying, "no, not yet; I want to keep trying and prove everyone wrong". What made me even more upset was that my good results on assignments (though few) spoke for themselves; the fact that whenever I did stay motivated and had an interest in the subject, I had a fighting chance of being a top student and finally graduating. Sadly I never did manage to bring myself up to speed with anything and after being given warning after warning from the university, I blew my final chance after my last semester in 2013. Results were bad though ironically the one subject I did pass was an accounting third year unit; auditing (and I did f*ck-all to study for it). I figured before the university chose to kick me out, I'd quit first. 

2. Why didn't you choose a different course at Monash? Oh I did think of this, surely, but the local Malaysian campus had very limited degrees on offer and sadly NONE of the Arts programmes I was interested in were available locally. Had I want to pursue a Monash programme of my choice, I would've had to do so in Australia and I'm more than certain that my dad was never willing to send me overseas anyway. He could afford to but didn't think it made sense to pay extra for overseas accommodation and higher tuition fees for what was essentially a similar Monash degree, attainable in Malaysia for a fraction of the cost; oh never mind where my interest lies, no siree was he going to waste so much on...yeah you get the picture. So basically everyone thought a Monash degree was a Monash degree and I figured rather than switch to some locally available Arts program I'm not interested in like broadcasting or communications and starting from scratch, I might as well try to buck up with the current one as I was more than halfway there.

I find that despite some very notable foreign universities having campuses in Malaysia, the degree programmes offered are very limited and this is but a nightmare for those like myself looking for credible art and design programmes out there. I have researched some very good design programmes at certain foreign universities that have Malaysian campuses but they simply would not offer such programmes here, probably out of fear that the demand for the programmes would be low. So those wanting to pursue engineering, science and medicine certainly have it made when it comes to your study options locally. 

So after going through universities in the UK and Canada, as well as local institutions that offer 3+0 degrees in partnership with overseas universities, I decided on The One Academy for a degree in interior architecture, awarded by University of Hertfordshire (has a pretty decent ranking and their arts and design programme is recognised in the UK). Academic requirements and cost were huge factors in that it didn't take any sort of pre-university qualification (despite me having one that I used for my business degree) or an elaborate portfolio requirement to enroll in TOA's UK degree programme; and despite the cost of the degree being the exact same as what local Monash tuition fees would amount to, it was still cheaper than any other alternative like studying abroad. I could of course try to re-enroll and start fresh at Monash but what would I study, really?

So I am glad to say that the degree that I will be pursuing from here onwards is one of my choice and at least one in which I am interested in. Had I put my foot down at the start, I would've been a graduate by now but I am nothing but grateful that I am supported financially by the family (and that they now understand where my interests lie) and despite a rocky start, I have finally understood what it means to pursue a university degree and how important it is to know which field of study suits your interests best. I believed that as long as I stayed motivated I'd graduate and be a successful accountant (my grandpa constantly reminded me of the postgrad professional accounting plans he had for me) but through these tough years struggling with a course that was never for me (not even in a million years), I have finally found some courage at least, to stand up for what I know is right for me and that you can definitely bounce back from failure. With a positive attitude. And a tonne of support from understanding people around you.

If all goes well, I'd be behind works like this in no time, heh.