I welcomed 2017 with bittersweet hope, looking down the road full of uncertainties. In my last post, I spoke of never-ending brick walls in my way. I was nearly in despair, only to be reminded of the love & support I am surrounded by. It was the one bubble keeping me hopeful & pushing me on. Continuously whacking at that brick wall with my battered hammer.

And today, I am happy to announce that I have finally broken down that brick wall! Made a huge hole in it, and watched it crumble. Then proceeded to climb over it; now I’m seated on the remnants of that wall, sipping on my iced lemon tea, and staring at yet another brick wall a little further down the road. But that’s ok! Nothing can dampen the triumph I feel right now. The sense of achievement, the appreciation of just how much I have accomplished, & the cognizance of how far I have come.

The most important lesson I’ve learnt in 2016 is perseverance brings progress. One step at a time, things started to work out. There was always something in the way, rocks, boulders, rivers, you name it. All the damned time. I started wishing so hard for things to be over, for everything to come together already but all I experienced was the seconds ticking by like they always have, speed unchanged despite my fervour prayers.

I had to learn, that there is a time and place for everything. And there was. Every action, every decision, every turn led me to where I am right now. It wasn’t always easy. But I always remember believing in the magic.

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“And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”

 

Like how I’ve wished so hard for snow to come falling and, finally I got to see snow woo-hoo!

I honestly believed in that. It is one of those things that I keep telling myself over the years whenever I come across adversities. It is one way of letting myself discover how much I really want something. Because one can only have so many dreams, and one can only achieve all of them if they really want to. Don’t you think?

 

“There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.”

 

I promised myself I wouldn’t let the fear of failure stop me. Even if I think it almost did. My mom never lets me forget that it’s ok to try again (& again & again & again…). It’s not the end of the world.

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 “The secret of life, though, is to fall seven times and to get up eight times.”

 

And that, my friends, is how perseverance brings progress. Because by the eighth time, you would’ve set fire to the rain.

I did.

After two long years of paperwork, exams, and bureaucrazy, I am finally a registered nurse in this country I now call home. It was just yesterday that I was reminded that it has been 2 years since I graduated, since I made the decision to make my dreams a reality.

I don’t think I have ever been more proud of myself.

Right. Off to tackle that brick wall down the hall. Beyond that wall lies my new phase in life & I can hardly wait to begin.

To my first success of 2017.

 

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Toodles. ♥

Christmas has come and gone, so did Boxing Day. How’s the shopping going, guys?

It dawned upon me on Christmas day that what I actually enjoy more than Christmas itself, were the days leading up to it. The anticipation, the excitement, the surprises. That said, I had a wonderful, quiet Christmas with the boyfriend & his family. I helped put up the Christmas tree aaaaaaannnnnnnnndddddddd I also got a bunch of Christmas presents (yayyyyyyy!) – total kid at heart here. My first proper English Christmas & the boyfriend wanted to make sure I enjoyed every single bit of this festive season. And I did, I really did. ♥

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In the short month that I was away (from the blog), there have been a couple of happenings. Things that I won’t be thoroughly detailing out. Let’s just say that as much as I can hardly wait for the new year to begin, I am wary, so so wary, of what will be in the new year. I am uncertain, and so is my future.

“New beginnings are often disguised as painful endings.”

I’d like to believe that. After all, tough times never last, tough people do. Right?

I ran into yet another brick wall and once again I am stumped, almost defeated & kneeled helplessly in front of said brick wall. Despaired as I was, I actually have so many things to be thankful for. I am surrounded by friends & family who love me, applauding me for my successes as of date. They held out their hands and told me it is not the end of the world. Their words of encouragement mean so much to me, what would I have done without them? I admit I was tired, it was a stupid brick wall that shouldn’t have been, but yet there was. In the darkest corner of my heart, I felt the little flame of fight went out. It was scary, I honestly felt like I was already defeated and the worst is simply yet to come.

It was then that I realised that it wasn’t the fear of failure that paralysed me, it was the fear of not being able to stand up again after the fall. That was the fear I felt in the darkest corner of my heart. It was that fear that gripped my whole heart and turned it cold. And still, I have more things to be grateful for. The fact that I am here, with people I love, still able to go on and celebrate Christmas. It really wasn’t the end of the world for me. My friends reminded me: “You have come this far, you mustn’t give up now. You are so, so close. Closer than anyone has ever been.”

And they are right. I am SO CLOSE. Closer than I can ever imagine. I am here, & I am going to complete this journey. I just got to keep trying.

One of my closest friend said to me: “The brick walls are there for a reason. The brick walls are not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something. Because the brick walls are there to stop the people who don’t want it badly enough.”

I want it so bad.

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It is painful for me to share that Bobby, the family dog, had left us and went seeking for dog heaven yesterday. We are all shocked & devastated, and I worry for my parents the most. Bobby had been such a joy for them both, they are still in denial. Maybe I am, too. We still can’t accept that he’s gone. I hope my sister is okay too.

Grief. Grief has not hit me this hard in such a long while. But with grief, there is also love.

And life goes on, like it always does. Life always goes on.

May the new year bring new beginnings. One can only hope.

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Happy New Year, everyone.

 

Toodles. ♥

 

Christmas is just around the corner (less than a month!!!). I am happy to share that this year I get to celebrate Christmas properly, decorating a Christmas tree, exchanging gifts & all that jazz. I have been pulling on my hair trying to sort out gifts for loved ones because I am absolutely terrible when it comes to gifts. So this weekend, I have decided to compile a list – an ever-growing list – of what I would like for Christmas because it is rather fun to be thinking of nice and pretty things.

IF by any chance, you are a dear friend who is pulling your hair out to think of a gift for me, fear not. I am here to solve all your problems! *cackles*

If, however, you are a complete stranger who stumbled across this little list, then I hope this would help you instead.

 

The Christmas Wish List

1) I love books. Give me anything to do with books and I will love you forever, for sure. This Christmas, I have my eyes set for Christmas Days 12 Stories and 12 Feasts for 12 Days by Jeanette Winterson. I have every plan to read it this winter by the fire, with a cuppa hot chocolate. And the dog for company. £10.49

  • Not sure if you’re making the right book selection for friend/family? No worries! Get them some book vouchers! I’m sure they’ll be happy raiding their favourite bookstores the very next day!

 

Image from Penguin Books

2) Y’all know I pretend to be a domestic goddess most of the time. Encouraged by my wonderful boyfriend to continuously feed him until he grows fat, I find myself wanting a Recipe Organiser: Food Lover from kikki.k to store my all-time favourite recipes. Just so I wouldn’t have to trace my tracks online only to find my favourite recipes have been taken down, moved, etc. £24

Image from kikki.k

3) Winter is coming, if you haven’t already noticed. And the one thing that is missing from my life right now is a soft, cosy throw. I don’t know about you but I do like the option of walking around in the house with a throw around my shoulders while I carry my cuppa. Or sitting by the fireplace with the throw for extra warmth. It’s like a mini blanket. Like Linus’s security blanket. There is a lovely range of throws in Ikea that I would love to get my hands on. Affordable as well. Like Gurli Black-Blue throw for £5.50 or a Hermine throw for £12.

IKEA GURLI throw

Images from Ikea

 

4) I have never been an avid Ted Baker fan but while frantically gift searching for people in the last week, I came across lovely selections of wash bags & make up bags from Ted Baker. My favourites: Shella porcelain large wash bag £22.50; Arleen Bejewelled Shadows wash bag £22.50. There is even a classic textured leather wash bag option, Assfrid and it comes in black or pink £46.

Images from Ted Baker

5) Cute stationery. Who can say no to cute stationery? Those who hang around me long enough will know that I have a crazy obsession for cute stationery, and that there will never be too much stationery. Some ideas for you to ponder on: Stationery Kit: Pause Guld £21 from kikki.k (currently unavailable); Everyday Ballpoint Pen 3pk: Cute £6 from kikki.k; Christmas Stocking stickers £1.50 from Paperchase (how cute are these!!!)

 

Images from kikki.k

 

6) I am one of your big time wanderlusters so I’m almost always on the look out for travel opportunities. I chanced upon this gem while browsing pages & pages of Christmas goodies and thought it’d make a great gift for pretty much anyone! I am sure most people you know (or even yourself) travel loads. So why not let them conquer their world, one scratch at a time? Luckies Scratch Map Travel Edition £6.99 from John Lewis. Note that this is a mini version of the original travel scratch map.

Image from John Lewis

  

I hope you’ve enjoyed this mini wishlist, I also hope it might have given you some gift ideas for friends & family this Christmas.

It is also time to buy (& post) Christmas cards! Ooohhhh, the joys of picking out cards. And pretty wrapping paper!

Better get going before the sun sets on me without warning!

 

Have a happy Sunday, folks!

 

 

P.S. Some of the items’ prices stated on this post may have changed by the time you view the links. Do note that this post was written and published during the Black Friday weekend.

 

Toodles. ♥

Sun sets at 4:00PM.

The temperature here is about 5°-6°C, quite a bit of rain as well (it is England, isn’t it?).

The fire is roaring by the fireplace, radiating much needed warmth & cosyness.

The dog is lounging.

I awake every morning to the boyfriend making me a cup of tea to kick-start the day.

And I am drinking a tad too much tea. Maybe not that much, just a cup every 2 hours?

Life since I arrived hasn’t entirely been idyllic. Okay maybe just a little. There’s the whole settling down, unpacking, and getting used to the ever-changing weather. And getting over jetlag. It really has been a week. 

I thought I was all ready for the cold. I mean, I was one big whiny puss back home when it came to the scorching heat. And then of course I got here and the cold hit me, and I hastily retreat into my jumpers and coats, and I proclaim that I am in dire need of wintery clothings, and the boyfriend agrees. Well, this is home now. 

Getting started with revision (what a drag how exciting!) and being fully aware of the looming exam date have possibly contributed to my excessive tea drinking to calm the nerves (& shivering muscles). Of course I am also assimilating to the English culture, been away for far too long & the danger of me forgetting my profound love for tea is evident. Especially since coffee took over quite a bit of my life.

Exploring the little town that I currently am in is quite an adventure. There is a tea shop I have yet to discover, and a bookshop that I have already raided. There is a teddy bear shop I was dragged away from, only because I would attempt to give each and every bear in that shop a home. A fancy wine & cheese place that looks oh-so-inviting each time I walk past it. The houses are lovely, and the autumn leaves even more so.

Equipped with a lovely kitchen, it is once again a joy to be back on my cookery projects. Not to mention cooking for two (or more) people now makes meals a lot easier to plan.

This cold. I can’t help but sometimes miss the breezy beach sunset days. Maybe I’ll write about Bali & Penang next to warm up the upcoming winter days.

 

Excuse me while I go get myself another cup of tea.

 

 

Toodles. ♥

It has been 2 months since I left my job.

A job I had both loved & despised, a job that took up almost all of my life, a job that brought me both pains & joys.

It was so hard for me to say goodbye. To my colleagues who became my closest friends at work, to my mentors who have inspired me to pursue my dreams, to my patients I have been taking care of right up until the day I left.

It was such a process. The goodbyes slowly crept up on me, but almost like in denial I brushed them all off saying I still have some time left with them. Until the day arrived and it finally hit me – it’s over. I spent the rest of the evening post shift properly saying goodbye for the last time in my uniform to all my doctors, nurses, allied healthcare members. Some I know I will most probably never see again.

It is a strange feeling – that realisation that you will not see some people ever again, or at least for a very long time. Especially if these are the people you spent almost all your waking hours with working around the clock in tears, sweat, and blood.

My closest friends at work found ways to keep me around even after I left, as did I. I found myself going back to the ward once too many times than I would like to admit, just so I can see them again.

The whole farewell thing lasted a while. And deep down, I know in my heart that this too shall pass. My friends cannot keep missing me, and I have to learn to let go. They will move on with their lives, and so must I.

 

When I thought the hardest of it all was over, I was hit with the tedious process of moving out of the flat, out of the country. Unearthing one old relic after another in my possession, I had to make big girl’s decision whether or not to keep them or throw them. I’m glad to have you know that I managed to throw out some, gave away some. For a hoarder like me, it was an achievement. Somehow I successfully moved out & moved back to KL. From there, it just got harder.

On the outside, my dad seemed like he has accepted the fact that I am moving countries once again, in search of new adventures. But he sure as hell isn’t kidding me, I know he isn’t coping well with this move. Out of the blue, he will say things like “you’re starting your new life soon, how many more years will it be ‘til we see you again?” Things like this set me off oh-so-easily (yes, I am a big crybaby) and it sure isn’t making this any easier for me. He decided that he won’t be following us to the airport to see us off because he will get too sad and that breaks me. Then again, every little thing breaks me these days. I’m useless, ugh.

Maybe he’ll change his mind, who knows. (He did, in the end. I still cried like a baby at the airport, as expected.)

“You gave me wings to fly.

            Now fly, I must.”

I am both terrified and amazed at how far I have come. I have never been this sure of a decision, and I am quite an indecisive person. This is what I want, this is what I have dreamt of. This is the beginning of an end that I have patiently (and painfully) worked towards for two long years.

In this war, the stakes are high. I won some, I lost some.

I may have just about won my way to the next battle, but at the same time I lost so, so much. I lost friends, I lost money, and most times, I lost heart.

I may have just about won the path to my new life, but I believe I may have also lost huge chunks of my past.

 

And that is the price I have to pay.

 

But moving on with the rest of your life, starts with goodbye.

So, hello England. It has been a week.

 

 

Toodles. ♥

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