Zoe Goes to Tokyo

Visiting Tokyo had always been one of my childhood dreams. It’s also my first time visiting/going to a foreign country, that I can’t speak & understand its language at all, by myself. However, huge hugs to my friend for letting me to bunk in at her place with her family! Despite the foreign language, it really wasn’t that difficult to explore Tokyo using the train systems in the city. You just gotta be more adventurous and optimistic (& uh, maybe the Internet tee-hee)! I hope you enjoyed watching this video. & thank you for watching! I will definitely write more when I have more time to blog about this vacation.

Chasing after dreams

I’m supposed to write this long time ago. But I have no idea why I’ve been procrastinating to write about it. Maybe it was just lack of motivation. However, I am so inspired by a book that I’ve just finished reading recently and decided that I should really write this & publish here.

X X X X X X

Almost a year ago, I made an insane decision to quit my job without securing a new job. It was an insane decision because the market was getting tougher, I most probably wouldn’t be employed for months knowing that I was not very experienced in any specific field. But I did it anyway. People around me may think I was brave to chase after my dreams. To be honest, it’s easy to quit a job that you hate. The toughest part is getting used to living a life being unemployed, when there is no certainty.

The price for chasing after dreams doesn’t come cheap. I owe it to people who have been supporting me endlessly and believing in me. Because I did get upset and disappointed at times. But they didn’t stop believing in me and encouraging me at the same time. I had a lot of disappointing and heartbreaking moments for that 6 months being unemployed. Aside from getting rejected from interviews that I’ve gone to, there were turbulence in a friendship. Friendships mean a lot to me, so that affected me a lot. That being said, I have reconciled with a friend whom I was very mad at previously. I made the move to apologize to her and I am so glad that she accepted it and we’ve been fine. In fact, she’s been very supportive and happy when I told her I think I found the job.

Now that I found the job that I am still enjoying after almost 3 months, I certainly do see myself continue working in this field in the future too. I’ve been constantly reminding myself how blessed I am to have found this job and got accepted as one of the therapists. You may wonder how I knew I’m fit for this job. To be honest, I didn’t know that when I went for the interview. But I knew I wanted to work there. Very badly. When I got the phone call that I was being offered and going for training for the position, I was really excited. When I was there for the training, I enjoyed the training everyday like how I used to enjoy my classes (especially psychology ones) back in college. We had a practical session right on the first day, immediately after the theory class, I was nervous but I was very excited too. In my heart, I knew I didn’t do it perfectly but I knew what I was doing and when I got the kid a little more calmer than he first saw us, I knew instantly that this job is not simple and it’s really challenging. & I love challenging tasks! When my trainer/supervisor asked me how I felt about the practical session. I was literally out of breath (that showed how tiring it was to take care of a child) and I explained my strategy. I didn’t know if my strategy worked but it worked somehow. At least a little bit. Few more days down the road, we were trained everyday with theory classes and practical sessions. I understand myself better everyday and I seemed to be able to do what they expected from me (or rather us as trainees). Each & everytime I’ve gotten a comment/praise/recommendation/suggestion, I was/am happy. I don’t get all depressed if it’s a negative one – because I wanna work on it and I keep thinking all the other possible ways to do it. But if I got a positive note, it just reconfirmed my decision that this is the job that I want.

Many people around me asked me what I’m now doing for a living. When I told them, I expect them to respect my decision and understand that this is not a simple job although I always put it simply that “it’s like a kindergarten teacher, except these are special children who need special care and different ways to teach them”. People always went “ahhh easy job… just play with kids and so stress-free”. I beg to differ. It may seems simple and easy on the surface, short working hours (not much OT), but it is really not stress-free at all. I still feel really tired even though I just finished a 3-hours therapy session. It’s mentally & physically exhausting. It’s hard to explain everything here in detail. But that sort of tiredness is different from the tiredness you got from a corporate job. Having said that, the kind of reward I’ve gotten there is also something I’ve never gotten from my previous corporate jobs. Some friends and even family members commented that I must be really proud of myself because I’m doing something really great – giving back to the society and all. To be honest, I don’t feel that way. I mean, I am proud of myself that I’m working in this field but that’s because I am doing something really meaningful. I don’t see myself as a super selfless person or whatever, but yes, I am doing something that I’m interested in and it’s really meaningful. It’s amazing to work with a group of people who care about these special individuals and most, if not all, are psychology students so it makes me feel really belonged there. I used to feel slightly awkward at corporate because other colleagues did/may not seemed to understand my thoughts. I concealed myself to blend in. After all, it was me who chose the wrong jobs and be at the wrong paths, that won’t really bring me to realizing my dreams. But at the same time, I am so grateful and glad that I went through all that. It may seems that I’ve wasted my time being in the wrong jobs, and that’s partially true, but without all that, I may not appreciate what I have today and truly appreciate this job and the people around me.

Now, let’s get to the more realistic part of life – money. Let’s face the truth, like it or not, we need a minimum amount of money to survive. Working there doesn’t offer you the best money. It is really more of the interest and your preference rather than monetary and materialism. If you want to earn more cash, you don’t work there. I know it’s difficult but I also know that I needed to prioritize my needs and wants. I made the call and I live with it. I’m fortunate that I don’t have much of a money problem in the sense that my parents are open-minded and allow me to do what I want as long as they are legal and I believe that deep down in their hearts, they knew that this daughter is a freaking dreamer and has always been wanting to work in such field. My parents are really supportive. Knowing that I won’t be able to earn big bucks (anytime soon) to buy them expensive gifts or bring them for vacations, they still support my decision. When I told them stories about the workplace or the kids I work with, they always listen (heck, my dad already has a favorite kid just by listening to the stories I told them!) and they sometimes provide me some other solutions although it’s not within their knowledge/skills. However, I listened to them as well, because if they could raise us up til now without much hiccups, I’m pretty sure their solutions might work too. It’s just awesome to have family that supports you!

Now, there’s one person that I really need to mention and thank him for being who he is. He’s none other than Duffy! If you don’t already know, he’s an awesome guy whom appeared in my life since December 2011. He supported me through & through. He did not criticize me, even for once, during my unemployment. He was just there, supporting me mentally & physically. He had & still has a lot of faith in me and he trusts me so much that I don’t even trust myself that much sometimes. I would like to talk a lot more about him, but unfortunately, we are separated now. In fact, it just happened and I still can’t quite accept this yet. As for now, I don’t know what is going to happen but I know he is still supporting me. He told me that he is really glad that I found this job because he could see that my face instantly brightened up when I talked about the job… anything about the job.

As for the other people that I have to specifically mention are DarlingSinYi and Ivone. These two girls were there when I rant & rant about my life and cheered for me when I got this job. Thank you for having so much faith in me, especially SinYi. Despite we are now living in different countries and living very different lives, she still gives her best support. Cheryl & Melissa were also aware of my situation and tried to listen as much as possible. There are also some other friends who have given me a lot of good advice and suggestions. Thank you for all that. I hope I did not miss anyone out. But if I did, I apologize in advance. That doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate you or your presence, I can be really forgetful sometimes. I really appreciate anyone who have helped me through and constantly encouraged me to find my dreams.

Now that I have crossed out one of my dreams, I cannot wait to realize my other dreams. I know it takes time (a lot!), energy, patience and of course, money, but I’ll do it anyway, because I’m a dreamer like that. :)

X X X X X X

If you make it til here, thank you for reading. I know my story isn’t that great or amazing or unique, but it is very important to me. & if you are now lost too, wondering where you should go, having quarter-life crises, please don’t give up. Nobody ever said that realizing your dream is easy and if you think your dream matters a lot to you, you should not give up. Find ways. It may not happen right away. It may takes months or even years. But working towards it will bring you there. Because, really, everything happens for a reason. Just enjoy the ride – be it rough or smooth. & remember to smile while you’re at it! Good luck! ;)

怪癖

我一直都有一個怪癖。我很愛吃東西,也很愛買食物。可是一旦得手了卻不捨得吃。就會一直放著。到了儲存日期也過了再也不能吃了,就會責怪自己浪費食物了。朋友知道我很喜歡吃也會送我吃的。像是臺灣的小食,香港的特產,甚至是日本的零食!可是我每次都儲存起來,不捨得吃。直到我媽一直提醒我,我才會把它們吃掉。我真是個怪胎!

這是認識了十三年的朋友從東京寄來的桃子味的氣泡飲料。不知道喝這個會醉了自己的眼睛嗎?

26th

So! Finally my birthday was not jinxed! It was quite perfect, in fact! I’m not even exaggerating when I said it’s the best birthday I’ve had in a very long time. ;)

It’s started off with a package. Wayyy before my birthday, I received a package all the way from Tokyo! Right, no prize for guessing who sent it!

Huge ass parcel from darl & her boy!

All the snacks!!! She even bought some beauty products for me too! Not only that! She even labelled the stuff with Post-It in English because I cannot read Japanese to save my life. OMG why do I have good friend like this! T___T

It’s the family’s tradition to have family’s meal together on birthdays. Usually dad let us to choose wherever we want to have lunch/dinner at. This year, I’ve decided to have it at Rakuzen for lunch with my family & Duffy on the Sunday before because actual day was on Monday. It’s also the first proper family meal with my brother-in-law! :D

Duffy got this cake for me. It’s supposed to be a surprise for me! Cake #1.

Mandatory birthday portrait.

If you wonder why the candle is so long, as in it doesn’t look like the normal candle you used for birthday cakes, it’s because he only realized that the candle wasn’t provided the night before or so and he tried looking for the normal candle high & low at Empire Shopping Gallery but all in vain. So I told him to just grab whatever candle he can find, but not those people use to pray for God la. -__-

Making a wish while Duffy went facepalm.

Not sure what suggestion Duffy was giving… I looked like I didn’t care because I wanna see my rainbow cake inside!!!

I like this picture because I like how Duffy was helping there! :D

I looked like a crazy girl there but that’s because I was too happy & excited to see my rainbow cake!

I have no idea why my face looked like that… But I think I’m kinda talented in making my lips in downward curve!

(I have a lot of pictures with me making that face, I shall make a compilation of that one day! You’d see how talented I am in doing that!)

♥__♥ MY RAINBOW CAKE!!! ♥__♥

/puke rainbows & unicorns all over!

Rainbow cake was/is like a hit lately, it’s all over tumblr, pinterest and what’s not! The moment I saw it, I know I have to have it! So yeah, I’ve been wanting a rainbow cake for the longest time! I even thought of getting one just to eat for fun. Then I went on a search! Tried searching where & how I could get it or customize it. But to no avail.

It was really depressing. I have friends asking me to make it on my own. Sounds even worse, bake a birthday cake for myself. Wow, I seriously cannot take it! I’m very princess in this context! I think that the birthday girl/boy should be pampered on the birthday! That definitely doesn’t include baking a birthday cake for yourself. :???: & it’s also quite impossible because I don’t have oven at home. FML.

Duffy even asked me why I wanted it so badly and how I’d know if it tastes good. I’m like, how do YOU know it’s not good! *defensive

So I thought to myself that probably no one is gonna get that rainbow cake for me on my birthday and I’m gonna do it on my own! Until one day, while I was having random conversation with Duffy, he blurted out that he had a surprise for me and if I wanna know about it.

Seriously, what kind of question is that? :roll: OF COURSE I WANT TO KNOW!

So he told me he actually got it customized and going to collect it the next day. Yeah FHL for spoiling the surprise. HAHAHA Anyway we prayed hoped wished that it’d turn out to be fine since he had not try any cake this lady made.

It turned out to be more than “just fine”. Personally, I think it’s quite delicious. Not too sweet and I didn’t feel like I was eating something very fake – as in OD of coloring. AND IT LOOKED SO BEAUTIFUL! :D :grin: :grin: :grin: :grin:

Yay! A proper family portrait in a while. :oops:

Awesome meal with the wonderful people in my life. :)

Off to Pavilion after lunch.

Le end of pre-26th, you can also view my pre-26th’s vlog. :)

On my actual birthday, I went to work! Wanted to take the day off but I think it’d be quite wasteful since I did not have any plan for that day and might as well just be productive and go to work.

Fettuccine with duck confit // birthday cake (cake #2)

My co-workers paid for my lunch and bought me a birthday cake! The pasta was awesome! They wanted to get mille crepe at first but they were not available/sold out so we had to settle for this one from Cake Sense. 

Dinner was with Duffy at this place that serves pork! Forgot to bring a proper camera out and it’s quite dark inside the restaurant so I didn’t bother to take picture of us. But dinner was delicious! YUM! :D

Days later I also received a birthday from Rachael. Totally took me by surprise because I’m not that close to her yet! I just know her recently. Seriously, I keep meeting nice people these days!!! T____T

Bff decided to put up a post-birthday celebration with me the weekend after. This time, we had dinner at Ben’s General Foodstore and partied at our usual playground with Shirley and her friends! I love my girlfriends! :D

Us at dinner! ♥

Look ! It’s my awkward smile again -__-

My marshmallow birthday cake. Cake #3. :grin: :grin:

Love it when everyone dressed up!

Tee-hee :”)

On the way to our playground! ;)

Girls just wanna have fun ♥

I’m putting 2 pictures of us posing almost the same way because we didn’t have pictures together after that! Clarification as below!

With Duffy! ♥ ♥

After that was quite a blur & fast-paced night. I only remembered I was busy downing whatever drinks my friends handed over to me. Neat, on the rock, with coke, or with green tea. I wanted shots, but was quite afraid I’d get drunk. Besides that, I had to help Duffy to drink if anyone tried to ask him to drink (too much) because he was responsible for my safety (& yes, he’s quite a lousy drinker /facepalm). Then we went to the podium and danced as usual. I love dancing with my girls! That is why I didn’t take a lot of pictures and I also think that it’s because I’m so used to bff/Jo being the photographer. I should really start to bring out my camera more often!

With Rachael!

New found dancing partner!

Caught in action! :oops:

I was quite worried that Duffy might get bored or tired. If you don’t already know, he’s that kind of guy who likes to chill and live a non-hectic lifestyle. Unlike me, I like to party. But guess what! He told me he enjoyed seeing me enjoying myself! How sweet is that!

/melted into a puddle of butter

When I was really tipsy! :oops: :oops: :oops:

Partied til about 4 in the morning, had Maggi Goreng with smeared makeup. It has really been a while. I miss crazy nights like this.

Gifts from BFF & Shirley! Thank you so much, babes! :) :) :)

Received a belated birthday card from Wei b* all the way from Taipei! *___* I miss her doodles!

& my birthday is officially ended with receiving another belated birthday card… from none other than my lovely Duffy. :shock:

I can so imagine everyone who reads this have a lot of question marks popping up above their heads!  :lol:

Let’s just say that Duffy is a very forgetful person. His memory is that bad, so goldfish that I still cannot fathom til today. I witnessed & experienced it myself, so I am not defending him for this. So after about a month after my birthday, I just casually told him that I was actually a lil disappointed that he didn’t give me a birthday card. (Yeah I love receiving cards!!! Bff & co. even customized a birthday card for me before!) He looked very concerned but I told him it’s ok because I’m alright now.

The next day, he came to pick me up for dinner and as usual, he stood outside of the car waiting for me, he told me there’s a mail in the mailbox when I went out. I instantly felt something’s up! But I didn’t bother much so I just casually said that I’ll check when I come home later. & he was totally like “Dafuq you don’t wanna check now?? How can you just leave the mail like this!” So I was like “HAHA I know it’s you who put it there la!” and proceeded to pick it up. & yes, it’s this birthday card! He wrote so much in the card! It’s really been a while since I had a birthday card that’s filled with words! Like literally!!! I still keep reading it. :oops: :oops: :oops:

This year, this birthday, I am so blessed that so many people love me and celebrated with me. I couldn’t have asked for more. :smile:

Marriage

Yes, guys… As much as how pre-matured & early and even fast to talk about it, we’ve done the talk.

Duffy & I have already done the whole future-marriage-talk while we have been together for barely 2 months. Somehow we don’t feel like it’s only been barely 2 months, we feel that we have known each other for a very long time. We are so comfortable being with each other. That is why I wasn’t kidding when I said it feels really different this time. I don’t even think this is just a honeymoon period kind of thing. I did not feel this way when I first started dating with any of my ex-boyfriend. So that explains a lot and should be able to give you a better picture of how I feel this time.

Then, again, it’s not just how I feel, right?

I was quite afraid that I’m taking this thing all on my own. As in I’m taking this too seriously or I’m one-sided.

So few days ago, when I was hanging out with him at his place when he’s supposed to cook dinner for us. He blurted out and called me his wife, I was stunned and terribly happy. I thought I would freak out. He thought I would too. But it was so natural. It wasn’t even the first time he actually told me something similar in that context. So yeah.

We have been talking about the future/marriage quite briefly a few times & it’s becoming more & more in detailed and he made it very clear that he didn’t even mind to sign the paper so long I can move in with him (well, my parents are quite conservative in that sense). He even told my sister about that! Dafuq -__- I think my sister was shocked.

That’s not the sweetest part.

The sweetest part was that he views marriage exactly like how I do! 

We both think that piece of paper and all that wedding dinner and stuff are not that important as long as we are together and we want to be with each other.

No, wait… The sweetest part of all

Wait for it!

He actually told me that he thinks the most important part will be the moment I say “I do” rather than all paper & wedding dinner.

/melt into a puddle of butter

:oops: :oops: :oops: :oops: :oops:

I don’t wanna jinx this or whatever. So I’m still keeping this very low until now…

But I think Bo was right about it. I probably knew that he wasn’t the one all along that was why I was so anti-marriage and didn’t wanna get married and all. It’s not that I hate marriage or don’t believe in marriage, or more like because I don’t believe in him.

When I told Darl, she was so moved she almost teared. So dramatic! No wonder we’re good friends! But I guess people who know me very well and are very close to me would know how much this means to me.

So even if this doesn’t work out one day, it’s fine, at least I had a fairy tale.