If you have been following my journey in the last few months, you would realise that it has been 5 months since I dropped everything and left sunny Singapore for cold, grey London skies.

I won’t lie; I have naively thought that the transition would be a little more smooth sailing. Oh, life’s transition is perfectly fine – I feel very much at home here, all thanks to close friends, boyfriend, & his wonderful family. But the progress and process to attain a right to live and work in the UK is far more complicated and cumbersome. The never-ending requirements and hidden fine prints are enough to send me up the walls.

The whole of last week I had to digest the new information, the new…demands of bureaucracy (I swear, bureaucracy is my new constant word these days) and quite frankly, that has gotten me down in the dumps. Half the time I found myself in denial, the other half of the time I spent hating on how difficult things are turning out right now. And at all times, C. has been nothing but so very kind and helpful, always optimistic and trying to make me see the issues in a different light. It wasn’t helping me at first, but he is constantly giving me hope until I am slowly starting to believe again, that everything will be alright soon.

And in those moments of hopeful thoughts, I channelled my energy to happier things. All my worries about how this new development is going to affect me – financially, mentally, physically – I repackaged them and sold it to myself in the form of a sabbatical. I have never really thought about it this way because I have always imagined that I would be able to jump right back to work once I settled my visa etc. Now that it isn’t all that simple, I have to buy the idea of a sabbatical. It’s not a terrible idea anyway. I can guess many might only be too happy to trade their places for mine. Not that I would let you, really, I’m quite happy here. But hey, it is making me feel a lot better. To acknowledge that I *am* on a sabbatical right now. I have all the time in the world now to do whatever I want, and I feel this is the best time for me to focus on ME.

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♦ To start with, I had a brainwave to revamp this blog. For reals. I acknowledge that in the past I haven’t been the most consistent blogger and this year I intend to change that. I want to be able to properly share my thoughts and improve my writings. And to do this, I will be starting off with a few new features that hopefully will stay regular. By making it regular, I hope it will keep me in check and disciplined enough to put more of me into this space that I call my own. I am looking forward to prettify this little corner on the internet (this is work in progress, some time in the week there should be some sort of visual changes), and tomorrow the first of my new feature will go live! So please hang around and check it out!

♦ Secondly, I am picking up French again! C. introduced Duolingo to me some weeks back and I must say, it is such a fun way to learn a new language! It is also free which is the best aha. However, procrastination is in my blood, I am not on top of it yet but apparently I am now at Level 6 and am 13% fluent in French! Merveilleux!

♦ I have been reading loads in the past few months – you can follow my reading challenge here on Goodreads. This year’s goal is to hit 25 books by the end of 2017. I seem to be doing pretty well, I have done 7 books out of 25! I have every intention to increase my goal but I am also setting myself monthly book goals on the side. I am supposed to finish 4 books in February but alas, only 1 book achieved this month. I will do my best to talk about the books I’ve read and yes, it will be one of those new features I was telling you about. C. is being an absolute delight, he wants to surprise me with a book each month and who am I to say no to that?

♦ It is a little disheartening that I haven’t ran / gone to the gym in ages. Every day I wake up telling myself today will be the day I start working out again. Never happened. I am still working up the motivation to make that first step – after months of slacking – so wish me luck!

So there you go, bits and pieces of my life thus far. Hopefully everything will fall into place soon and this whole new life I have been pursuing will then begin. There is always a time and place for everything. But until then, let me enjoy this freedom and time I have in abundance right now.

Toodles. ♥

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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. ♥

 

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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I will be honest:

I am exhausted. I am disappointed.

Day by day, when I know I could do better, but I can’t. Or I don’t.

When I see my comrades as weathered as I am.

When strangers see me, a battered soul.

When I start drowning because I am weakened, helpless.

When I try to save everyone, but the one person that really needs saving is myself.

 

 

The excerpt above is a fragment of a burned out heart. Mine.

It is unfortunate that I have come to this point once again. And I hope that anyone reading this will somewhat understand that not all days are rainbows & sunshine; that it is as real as it gets & I do my best to portray the whole picture.

It is also unfortunate that I acknowledge my burnout state on Nurses’ Week. And decided to proclaim it on Nurses’ Day. I thought it would be an interesting change in the way we celebrate Nurses’ Day. To accept & recognise that it is OKAY to admit to the pessimistic side of nursing. Like how we should celebrate life: we accept the joys & sorrows both for we cannot have one without the other.

Despite this burnout, I only have the utmost respect & support for nurses everywhere.

For your willingness to keep going, no matter how bad things get.

For your strength to bear all the brunt, being at the front line more often than not.

For your heart & wellbeing, that so many have failed to take care of, leaving you to retreat in solitary to lick your wounds.

For your determination to do it all over again, every single day, in spite of knowing the consequences; because only you hold the key to what got you started in the very beginning.

 

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Happy Nurses’ Day!

 

Toodles. ♥