Saturday, October 3, 2015

The Haze Is My Biggest Problem

So far it's been very hazy in Singapore and Malaysia due to our good friend Indonesia who smokes up annually to the dismay of all its neighbours.
The haze this year is really bad - I feel ill when I walk outside for a short while. It gets in your throat, gives you headaches and even makes you a bit nauseous.


Then it rained yesterday, and as I was walking from the train station to work, I sniffed the clean air and felt very lucky and thankful to have clean air.

This got me thinking : my biggest problem right now is not having clean air, but this is going to clear up in a few months. We complain and gripe from our ivory towers but we are so incredibly lucky in every other aspect. I follow Humans of New York on Facebook, and I love (and hate) at the same time reading the refugee series. I love it because it's thought provoking and opens up your mind to what other people are facing, and I hate it because there is too much unnecessary cruelty in the world. I read about people who are fleeing war-torn countries, who are beaten by the police when they enter a new country, who are chased away like animals and have nowhere to go. These people are looking every day for food, water and a place to sleep - pure, basic survival.

Then you think about all the people in the world who don't have access to clean water or even electricity. It's hard to imagine, especially being in Singapore, where everything is perfect and in great working condition, where we frown when trains are a few minutes late or breakdowns happen. I'm not saying that we shouldn't complain - because efficiency is what Singapore is known for - but thinking about how blessed I am in my life puts things in perspective. The problems I have are not problems. I have a nice bed to sleep in every night. I have never worried for when my next meal will come. I have clean water. I long for nothing.

There was some bad news at work the other day, but two things cheered me up. The first was a colleague (but a better word is friend) who left a little cake for me at my desk to perk me up.


The second, which got me thinking was another colleague who told me "Sometimes, unluckiness is luckiness."
Perhaps this is another way of saying 'There's a reason for everything,' but I found great comfort in this statement. Also, the news I received was not terrible news in any way - I was not fired or yelled at in any way, and nobody was hurt from this. In fact, work is going great. I am heading to my dream job next month in my dream country!

I think perspective is very important in every situation. You really can choose to be positive or negative about any situation, and most of the time, there are more positives to it (even if it may really not feel that way at that point of time).

Earlier this year, I felt really down and low about things. It's a really great feeling knowing that the year is ending so much better than it has started. There are so many new things to look forward to and so many adventures to go on!

All in all, I am incredibly thankful and feel very blessed with everything I have right now. My life is perfect. (See, I was almost going to say nothing is perfect, but I feel that's a very pessimistic way of looking at things.) There will be quirks and irritations in everything we do in life, but the sum of it is a rich tapestry of life that teaches you some painful life lessons, but also gives you so much growth.

Happy weekend, everyone!

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Get Rid of Toxic Friends

I'm pretty sure I've written about toxic friends one time too many, but I haven't had to think about in since moving to Singapore. It's not so much that there are nicer people here, but I've made a specific effort to only be with friends that I genuinely love and care for and who are uplifting for me.

I went back to KL last weekend and decided it would be a good idea to meet up with some old friends before I do my biggity move. This turned out to be a huge mistake - or maybe not, because it taught me an important lesson, because I spent my time with an incredibly negative person who was hell-bent on taking me down at every possible moment. I initially intended to re-hash every nasty, petty little comment she had made - ranging from how my bosses must be moving me because they wanted to get rid to me, to insulting the company I worked for and how 'EWw' the culture must be, but I've decided not to. (That, and I've also complained about her to my other girlfriends, heh heh).

This got me thinking though - when someone is so blatantly rude to you to your face, what do you do? She made plenty of outright nasty remarks but I was so shellshocked that I was rendered speechless most of the time. First I tried to laugh it off as a joke, then I stopped smiling, and by the third comment I was glaring at her and rolling my eyes. In hindsight, I think from now on if people are so unnecessarily rude (and small) to me, I've decided that they just don't warrant a response.

Of course, some of my friends said 'You should have given it back to her!'. In all honesty, I think the reason I didn't 'give it back to her' was also due to the fact that I'm not at all in envy of her life. She's not somebody I respect or look up to. I guess it's also because she no longer mattered in my life. She's unimportant and irrelevant, but at the same time irritating enough for me to write a post on her.

If I were to look back and think, would I have made any nasty remarks to her - the answer would still be no. And really, it's because she seems to consumed by hate and negativity and cattiness that it looks sad. I think I would have wanted to 'give it back to her' if she was someone who was really smug about herself, but the sad thing is I think she is wanting for so much in her life and for whatever reason she's not getting it, she takes it out on people.

By the way, she has a nice life. Good job, personal life going great - so I don't really understand her need to be so nasty and put other people down - but I don't have to.

Waving goodbye to her, I knew that this would be the last time I ever see or speak to her again.