Pensive Reflections

December 5, 2015 Leave a comment

2015 is closing shop soon.

2016 will bloom in a bit.

I’ll be one year older – 38 to 39. What have I achieved?

Not much honestly. More than that, I’m at the age where I am quite nostalgic (although not as hairy) about easier older times. I suspect that most of you would be too.

As such, I’m casting eye back on my ages to see what I’ve grown into.

Ages Main Activity Looking Back Regrets
21 to 25
Study
University. Got a girl, lost a girl, made out with some. Fresh out of the army and into NUS (Computing).

Hung around the pink tables and yakked the day away. Felt proud that I could hold my alcohol. Lots of parties – whee!

Decided on three things to try after I graduated: teaching, IT, and writing.

I wished to have learnt how to think, dissect and construct arguments, hypotheses and experiments.

I had focused too much on University being the “it’s the last stop before the real working world”and hence played too much after my first (most intense) year.

26 to 30
Experiments
Worked as a programmer & teacher. Did a writing internship.
Took 6 months off to travel.
I couldn’t figure out code. It felt dry, lifeless and lacked humanity. (Ironic that I now see people as the problem mostly.)

I was – and still am – curmudgeonly, stand-offish and wanted to be a leader, regardless of whether I am correct.

Best parts of this period: 1. Writing internship at I-S
2. Travelling from Singapore to China overland
3. Paid off my student debts in 1.5 years

This was one of my best eras – I was rocking a power-packed body that could do anything that I asked of it.

Again, I wished that I had spent less and invested more.

I wished that I had taken all those relationship red flags seriously. It would have helped me to deal with people.

And perhaps I’ll be less stressed out in the future.

31 to 35 Returned from travels. Became a travel writer. Became an online editor. Stepped into an Account Director’s role

Buried myself into work

My first foray into advertising and marketing with Saatchi and Saatchi as a social media guy. I kept on working with editorial but soon I was disillusioned by the amount of work for very little pay.

Hence I supplemented it with freelance work. I took on anything and everything. Sometimes working up to 12 hours a day for months on the end. Resulting in a nice nest egg.

But by the time, 35 came around, I was burnt out from working and working and working.  

Unlike previous eras, I started investing – even though it was haphazard, clearly too ambitious, and hopelessly emotional.

I wished I had gone out and made more good friends, not just drinking buddies.

I wished kept all of my dividend stocks. And I wished that I had experimented with getting my writings out there instead of just writing to a brief.

36 to 38 Retrenched. Joined a digital agency. Doing Strategy and Inbound Marketing. Learning data science I’ve researched and made pitches, and did some data analytics.

My investments are paying off now – they cover my monthly cost.
Most folks whom I speak to decry Data science (or analytics). It seems like a foreign/alien object to them. And it’s hard to articulate the value in one sentence. Anyways, it’s hard going learning this topic on my own.

I wish that I’m doing something useful instead of marketing.

I wish that I don’t have to deal with clients or people in general.

I wished I could take a few years off.

Categories: Thoughts Tags: ,

Story #6: Old Birthday

October 15, 2015 Leave a comment

My door and joints creaked in sympathy.

Surprise! Happy birthday!

 

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“Gertrude was too old for a surprise party” by Full Ben

 

Stories Under 10 Words

Inspired by Hemmingway’s 6-word story “For Sale: baby shoes, never worn”.
More Short Shorts at
Stories Under 10 | Six Word Stories (Reddit) 

Story #5: No Truth

October 12, 2015 Leave a comment

 

Don’t explain.

Speak what they want to hear instead.

 

“The Expert” by Lauris Beinerts

 

Stories Under 10 Words

Inspired by Hemmingway’s 6-word story “For Sale: baby shoes, never worn”.
More Short Shorts at
Stories Under 10 | Six Word Stories (Reddit) 

Categories: Stories, Writing Tags: ,

Haze on a Bad Stomach

October 11, 2015 Leave a comment

So the annual haze is back and roiling across South East Asia.

It’s not as bad as the haze in 2013 which went up to a record high of 401 PSI (Pollution Standards Index). This year round it managed a measly 220.

But I felt worse.


from Straatosphere

Apart from keeping me indoors and blocking out the sun, somehow the Haze got into my system and bothered me with never-ending coughs, irritated throat and itchy eyes for two weeks.

A pain in itself. But then, it mutated into blood-stained phlegm (only in the morning and after a racking cough) and chest pains for a week.

I freaked out.

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From Health Tap

Singapore’s Polyclinics are crowded, orderly, and rather efficient affairs (although the waiting could take a while). The GP poked, prodded, and gave me an ECG.

The verdict

  • Chest – muscular-skeletal. Intercoastals muscles are strained
  • Cough – possibly dyspepsia and acid reflux

I got medicine for it and a lecture on cleaning up my diet. That means no coffee, no chillis, no alcohol, nothing heaty (like durian). Interestingly enough, my cough started to clear up and I’ve not been spitting blood into the wash basin.

Perhaps it’s just a one-off injury from coughing too much.

I certainly hope so. But to be safe, I’ll go clean liver for a month (or more).

Categories: Observations Tags: , ,

Story #4: The Game of Chicken

July 4, 2015 Leave a comment

 

Two cars hurtled against each other.

Only one drove away.

 

 

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“Bright Headlights At 40 At Night” by Sharat Ganapati

 
Stories Under 10 Words

Inspired by Hemmingway’s 6-word story “For Sale: baby shoes, never worn”.
More Short Shorts at
Stories Under 10 | Six Word Stories (Reddit) 

Story #3: Memory

June 25, 2015 Leave a comment

 

“Who are you?”

“Your daughter.”

“Oh.”

Tomorrow.

“Who are you?”

 

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“Born in the U.S.A., Humble Negro Cemetery, Humble, Texas 0508101245BW” by Patrick Feller

 
Stories Under 10 Words

Inspired by Hemmingway’s 6-word story “For Sale: baby shoes, never worn”.
More Short Shorts at
Stories Under 10 | Six Word Stories (Reddit) 

Story #2: Silent Nights

June 16, 2015 Leave a comment

 

Silent night, crowded city.

No one heard her.

 

 

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“Causeway Bay” by akwan architect

Stories Under 10 Words

Inspired by Hemmingway’s 6-word story “For Sale: baby shoes, never worn”.
More Short Shorts at
Stories Under 10 |
Six Word Stories 

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