2017, in a Gist

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January 2018 has ended.

The first 31 days of the year came and left, and now here we are in the middle of February! Despite work already picking up and that I have (by now) stayed in the studio anywhere from 11PM to 4AM (I should knock off at 6PM)—the first half-year still trickles by very slowly and this year is no different.

I’m not complaining. Some days, work is horrible, and that’s just that—it is just part of the life as a working adult.

But before I proceed further into 2018, here’s a quick run through of how 2017 went.

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Repetto Camille Classique in Flamme, Mulberry Bayswater in Oak, Hermès Kelly black belt with silver hardware, Love Chloé and Jo Malone Earl Grey & Cucumber, Anothersole in Pony Hair and Memobottle’s A7 bottle

The good

As mentioned previously, I gave myself a challenge to stop spending for 10-months and I suppose, as a beginner, I did fairly well. Although my rules were a little more flexible than Michelle McGagh (her post was the reason I started this challenge), it was still difficult for me.

Apart from spending on the necessities, there were some things that I genuinely needed to purchase (unfortunately, this could not include dessert wine, despite how hormonal I felt for a week every month)—but even then, I couldn’t rush myself into purchasing them: I had to be 100% satisfied and this took quite a bit of time because I wanted these things to be timeless. In a world where our pace reflects that of a fast-food chain—everything had to be quick, fast, immediate—for me to do it all slowly, to wait and to do research on what suited best for my lifestyle, was uncomfortable but necessary.

The whole process made me realised that as impossible as it might seem, the item that checks all the boxes of your requirements does exist—we just have to be patient, and when we do finally purchase these things, they would be something that you’ll love for a very long time.

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The bad

Unfortunately, this sacrifice was only meant for my spending/purchasing habits yet it somehow influenced the way I lived my life and caused a terrible domino effect on my wellbeing; I was working over time at least 4 days a week for 11-months without taking any day offs just to clear work, spent my weekends in bed catching up on sleep instead of enjoying the fresh air outside, did not see or text the handful of friends that I have and fell ill multiple times (along with a lower-back injury from heavy lifting during our studio move) towards the end of the year.

While I managed to take the whole December off to get my wellbeing sorted, my move to get myself fixed came a little late. I was exhausted all over, felt extremely tired of living and was creatively drained—I was so hard on myself that I’m surprised I even survived the year; this was not the kind of life I imagined myself having as an adult and this sacrifice I made benefitted no one in particular.

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So yes, January 2018 has ended.

Looking back at 2017 made me realised that I do not want a repeat of this again. I’m old enough to know better yet in a matter of 2 weeks, I’ve repeated it all over again—working till 4AM and the countless ubereats… this can’t go on!

I’m not complaining. Some days, work is horrible, and that’s just that—it is just part of the life as a working adult.

But I’ve got to be better to myself—I owe myself that much; I’ll make it my goal to leave work on time, go out for a short walk after having lunch and soak up a little bit of the sun.

So happy 2018 one and all—it’s not too late to treat yourself better, starting from today.

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Farewell, Belt

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In the book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up^, Marie Kondo wrote that upon holding an item and finding that it no longer sparks joy, thank it for its service before bidding it farewell.

So, today, I (grudgingly) said goodbye to something that had served me pretty well.

Out of all the belts I’ve owned, this is my favourite and I inherited it from my mother (who wore it in the 60s). In fact, I loved it so much that I ignored all my other belts. If you’ve a sensible head screwed onto your neck, you’ll know that you should never be emotionally attached to material items.

Unfortunately, that’s not me.

I couldn’t help it—this was one of the most brilliant belts that I’ve ever seen! The multiple holes throughout the strap meant that it was versatile and I could wear it high, mid or low waist, as and when I pleased, and coupled with the fact that it was fully black meant that it would match anything and everything in my wardrobe easily.

Yet that’s where its brilliances ended. Because of its poor material choice (rubber) and the construction of it (glue), it couldn’t last long. The beautiful scallop edge broke off after just a few wears due to the friction whenever it passes through the belt loop multiple times a day, and the layers of strap has already separated from each other. I’ve tried my best to fix it up but I know—it’s all over for it now. The only thing that remains sturdy was the buckle, but what good is it now when everything else has deteriorated?

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When I showed it to my mother, she merely smiled and shrugged.

(Honestly, I didn’t like the sight of the shrug.)

If only it weren’t a fast-fashion item and that it was better constructed, it wouldn’t have started breaking apart after less than a month’s worth of wearing. And that’s the problem with cheaply made things—they never last as long as you hoped for, and despite knowing that, we still purchase them; it’s insane—it’s no different than knowingly tossing money into the sea and watching the paper disintegrate at the touch of the salty water.

Perhaps I liked it more than its brilliant creation—perhaps I liked it because it once belonged to my mother, which thrills me to know that I’m wearing something of hers, and I’m angry that it’s poor construction and material choice forbids me from holding on to it longer; I’m just a sentimental old bean like that.

But all my argument is futile; its time is up and I guess it has to go.

So thank you, for the times we spent together, me and you, and my mother with you in the 60s.

I’ll never forget you and the most important lesson you taught me:

Don’t ever buy cheaply constructed things again.

Death of a Wallflower

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Hello again.

Guess who’s back to write here again?

I didn’t mean to disappear for so long, but how does one even start writing again after the death of Robin Williams, one of the greatest actors in the world? Granted, I don’t know him personally, but you still feel the whole 5-stages of grieve and I was just hoping for the grieving to end and then pick the right moment to start again. It never came. But then, the funny thing about death, famous or not, human or animal, is this: The world just carries on moving forward—nothing stands still; once death happens, it gets acknowledged, and then, the moment passes.

I realised then that there’s no right moment to start picking yourself up after grieving… and perhaps I’m also the only one who makes such a big deal out of the world’s apathy on death.

But yes. I’m back to write again because I’ve missed writing and I’ve missed doing something nice just for myself. For the past year or so, I’ve been busy with “my life”—graduating from college with the grades I wanted (finally, good God!), looking for jobs (interned and then moved on to a full time job), salvaging my dead HDD on my MacBook (goodbye savings) and trying to make ends meet (bloody college loans). Most of my precious free time were either spent freelancing or out drinking with myself in pubs because I needed some solitude but mostly it was because it was just the weirdest period of my life—the whole year just felt like it was standing really still, and I kept wondering if this was all that there is to my life as an adult.

An acquaintance once asked me if I go out drinking every Friday night and that really made me considered my nightlife choices. I suppose I did, because I had nothing worthwhile to do once I had finished my freelance projects. I mean, what do you do when you have some time left after work–and on a Friday night no less? I probably should sleep, like any normal tired working adult, but I’m essentially just lying there doing nothing productive (indeed in my crazy mind, resting = wasting time). I wanted to savour my freedom out of the office! I wanted to enjoy my night out! I wanted to watch the orange street lamps aglow in the night as I whiz through town in a taxi.

I wanted to do something, anything—just not float around and exist, I suppose.

Anyway, I don’t know where this entry is going. I’m really just trying to channel my inner chic Carrie Bradshaw, seated in front of a window, smoking and thinking aloud while click-clacking away on the MacBook, but in reality, I’m without a cigarette and I feel my contact lenses shrivelling up in my eyes while I click-clack away on my MacBook with only 15% battery life to go. Even though I’m still not sure what this bloody weblog of mine is about (and I’ve already written 14 entires here only to delete them away), I suppose it’s really just a ‘thinking out loud, living my life to the fullest’ platform and here’s the thing—as of late last 2015, I’ve ended all freelancing projects, stopped drinking and stress fagging, online mindless shopping too, etc.

It is my first step to being nicer to myself.

Stop my wallflower persona nonsense.
I’m going to start living.

It’s cliche, I know.
Cheers to a new beginning.

Now time for bed.