Chapter 3: Dream??

Continue from Chapter 2: Let’s ask the God!

 


____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

“Where am I? How did I get here? This must be a dream. Right let’s see around. This seems like a kitchen here. So dark in here. But .. hmm looks like someone has left the gas on. 

It feels so surreal in this dream but everything seems to be in orderly. I mean I can see everything quite clearly, every bits and bobs in the kitchen, despite the darkness. Thanks to the light from the living room. And of course, the fire from the gas stove. Whoever left it there is rather impatient. That is definitely the maximum power you could get on the stove. Let’s forget about it and explore the living room…. 

Yet, the fire… it is burning in rage. Let’s have a look what is in the pot. 

Ah well, just some water .. but really..at this rate, I am sure the pot will burn rather soon… 

Oh.. wow… I haven’t even finished my thought, the water in the pot vanished in the air! Poof! Just like that! What the heck.. oh yes, of course, this is a dream! You moron! anything can happen!”

I turned my attention to the living room, and saw a girl sitting in the living room. She seemed engrossed in whatever she is doing.
“Let’s have a snoop and see what she’s up to.

Ah.. really CSI! Duh…

Hang on, do I smell something?? The pot! I better turn the fire off.

I ran to the kitchen but I can’t touch anything! Am I being silly? This is just a dream and I supposed if it burns, I will wake up. But I can feel the heat and smell the burnt. I better alert her about the pot! 

“Hey you, stop watching CSI. Your pot of water, hey…”

“Oh my goodness, she can’t hear me. She can’t see me. What should I do??”

I ran frantically up and down the stairs and everywhere in the house… and suddenly.. 

“Ah great! You see me… come… the pot!! ” 

She still can’t hear me. Right, but seems like she can feel my presence by the speed and wind I create. Whatever it is, I just have to keep running. 

To the pot!! 

In a flash I ran to the kitchen, right to the front of the stove. 

“Damn idiot, I am over here, not the store room!” 

Oh well, ok, I better run over to the store room and back to the stove to attract her attention. 

Ah finally! She’s getting it! Yes, the stove!! Turn the gas off! 

“Phew … thank goodness. She could have burnt us both down.. well in the dream.. huh…” 

Oh wow…. why am I floating, I am not touching the floor … I am flYING .. …. HELP!!!!!!”

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Continue to Chapter 4: TBP

 

 

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Chapter 2: Let’s ask the God!

-continue from Chapter 1: Dinner and Shadow
_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

“Are you sure?”

“No, I am not .. and that is why I feel,… a bit mystical about it. I don’t know whether I have hallucinated or really a guardian angel or .. you know Dee… it’s the 7th month in Chinese Calendar.”

“What does that mean?” asked Deanne, my best friend.

I don’t blame her. She is not Chinese, so it would be difficult for her to understand what that means. I am all prepared to explain to her, but it is quite tricky to do so in the 7th month.

“Well, it is Chinese Halloween. Of course, 10 times spookier as it is not about having everyone to dress up or trick or treat. But really, we believe the gates of hell open every year the whole 7th month of the Chinese calendar. Well you know how we celebrate Chinese New Year sometimes in Jan and sometimes in Feb?”

“Yes. You explained to me before that the Chinese calendar is different to the Julian calendar. It changes in accordance to the lunar and solar instead.”

“That’s right Dee. Spirits and …. erm… ghost… wander around to visit their family, relatives and friends. But these are the good ones, some say the evil ones are released too.”

“But you aren’t going to believe that was a ghost spirit in your house on Sat, are you?”

“Well… I am not sure Dee… I hope not. Or else, I will have bad luck for 3 years!”

“You are SO superstitious, El, you know. Let’s go.. we have to get back to class.”

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

I can’t quite concentrate the whole day although I pretended nothing ever happened. I tried to clean the pot as much as I could after the incident last night, leaving little or no trace of the burnt pot. I tried few methods, from boiling vinegar and scraping the burnt marks inside the pot to using metal sponge to remove it. I think I managed to remove about 70% to 80% of it. Luckily I have “burnt” the pot quite a lot and so I should let it remains now. Otherwise it will create suspicion. My mum didn’t ask me anything about the pot, so I guess, I have done it all right.

Whilst my mind is wandering ….

“Let’s go to Thean Di temple to consult a medium. My cousin told me she went asked about her love life few years ago and she claimed the reading is rather accurate.”

Although Dee is not a Chinese, entirely, her cousin is married to a Chinese girl.

“You told your cousin??”

“No, … well I didn’t tell him it’s you.”

“But Dee, who else could it be? I am sure Aidan knew it’s me!”

“Well, doesn’t matter El. What matters now is, you don’t look very settling after the incident.”

“I’m ok, Dee, I just feel.. still… intrigued. You know me.”

“Yes, that is why I told Ching Yau, as you know I don’t really have that many close Chinese friends.”

“Sorry, Dee.”

“Now listen. She told me that she consulted the medium when she was younger and eerie enough, she claimed the readings have always been so accurate. Just go and try, and see what the medium has to say.”

“Ehmm… I’m not sure Dee…. I don’t really believe this kind of thing. Well, not entirely. You know, there are so many money sucking mediums who just try to squeeze every penny you have. Besides I don’t have money to do the consultation.”

“Well not if Ching Yau can recommend someone she consulted before. Don’t worry I’ll ask her how much we need to expect to pay and you can decide… !”

“Well… ok!”

Dee seemed more excited than I am now. I can’t believe she is the one who asked me to consult a medium.

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On a Monday autumn morning when the sun is out!

I have posted before that I was “forbidden” from doing any sort of cardio exercises early in the morning at home (http://intodifferentphasesoflife.wordpress.com/2013/09/04/no-freedom-even-if-you-are-at-your-own-home/). So for weeks I’ve been plotting an alternatives, in my head. I went out to find a “good spot” in order to execute my plan. I have some places in mind but haven’t had the will to do it yet. Partly also because the weather had been crappy since the “complaint” was last made by my neighbour.

This morning, I woke up having wars in my head whether I should already get up and do yogalates at home. But the blinds told me otherwise: “It is a beautiful sunny morning.”

So … I just got it out of my head and went out to explore my alternatives.I went to the nearest park, which is literally just about 400 feet from my house, to see if it is feasible to do that there. Well, to my dismay, there were 2 big guys doing what I wanted to do. One is a PT and the other, you know, someone like me. Sure, there’s no conflict of me doing my thing there whilst they do their thing. But the shy me decided to turned around before they spotted me. I don’t think I can co-exist with them fearing the PT will comment on my activity or that I’d need his help.

So I walked to the other park, which is just 0.3 miles from my house. I didn’t know what to expect but just walked nonetheless. When I left the house, I just thought that if I didn’t get to do the cardio today, I will just walk as a form my exercise. No harm done since it is a beautiful sunny morning.

First I saw the wood, which is great. A big field hidden behind tall bushes, no one there. I should be all right from being scrutinised by passersby. I walked in, and there were four elderly chatting and walking their dogs. I ignored them and tried to look for the perfect spot. I need a place to put my tablet and found a picnic table. I went over and tried it out, but a bit too far and glaring for me to see anything. And those four people were still there, the field is too big for them to walk any quicker.

Anyway, I decided this isn’t the right spot. I packed and walk to the park next to it. There is a playground for kids, but also some fixated gym machines, i.e. steppers and an exercise bike. The playground is fitted with mat for kids in case they fall over. The park is big, so I moved on but before I walked further, I saw this little spot inside the playground. The ground is tarred, perfect for workout. The grass on the field is wet due to the recent rainfalls. I need somewhere drier. And what’s more this spot has a bench at the end of it. I have to check it out!

The moment I got there, I knew this is the right spot. I set up my tablet, and opened workouts I saved in it. I could hardly hear it but the vision is just perfect. So I started to do my workout here! Perfect!! My back is facing a walking path at the field, which is fine by me. I am facing the big field, which nobody would walk on it. The walking path in front of me, is too far for me to bother. I mean the last thing I want is distraction. I know people walking at the path behind me stopped and looked, but I didn’t see them. So I am not too bothered.

Now I just wish and pray that it won’t rain early in the morning. I don’t mind to go out even if it is not sunny but if it is going to rain, then I’ll do the workout at home. Just have to do something less noisy like yoga or pilates.

IMG_20130916_085121_662

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Chapter 1: Dinner and shadow.

I was all alone at home. The street is rather busy tonight. Different groups of people are walking on the street and there are more cars than any normal days. Of course, it is Saturday night. There is a night market at the end of the street.

As usual, mum and dad have gone out to work. Their working hours are dictated by their prospective clients or clients. This is how life is when you are in the sales and service industry.

I do enjoy the serenity at home albeit streams of people walking up and down the street. Quiet and alone always give me the illusionary power as a master of the house and no one could disturb or stop me from doing what I want to do.

And what’s more tonight is Sat night. My favourite TV show will be shown in about 5 minutes. I still have enough time to prepare my dinner so that I could enjoy my favourite food whilst catching my favourite show. I know it is pathetic but that is how I like it.

So without wasting another second, I quickly fill one-third of a small pot with water. I turn on the gas to high heat, as I don’t really have a lot of time. Swiftly I swing my body around to the fridge and take out the “choy sum” a Chinese leaves vegetable, an egg, and a packet of my favourite instant noodle, Cintan mee curry. I moved my hands quickly to wash and cut few stalks of the vegetable and waited impatiently in front of the pot. From afar, I heard the music of my favourite TV show.

“Gosh, I am a bit too late! Argh.. bad timing! ” I open the cover of the pot and it is still not boiling yet. Just some steam. I put the cover back, while alternating between my legs and at the same time all ear up to the music from the TV.

Soon enough, the music ended and my first instinct was to rush to the living room to catch the beginning. I thought to myself that once Horatio and his team goes back to their office, I will rush back to cook my dinner. I just can’t miss the opening as that is always where a lot of clues may appear and not noted by the detectives. There were a few episodes that I noticed the clue and Horatio and his team has to go back to the scene again. So I definitely don’t want to miss any leads or clues.

Now I am not all glued to the TV set, I did glance over to then kitchen and assure myself where I am standing now have a good view of the pot. And I make a quick mental note to look slightly up the pot to notice any steam coming out from the pot. Nope!

Great, without wasting a second, I turn to the TV again.

“Oh what a gruesome killing tonight. But hey, hang on.. what’s that on the floor!?” I thought to myself. I wanted to have a better look, and so I moved over to the sofa facing the TV.

“Oh before I forget… Ok, I still have a good view of the pot. And nope, it is still not boiling!”

“How could you miss that clue?? It is staring into your face! Oh come on, …..what’s that??!!”

Suddenly I felt my senses came back to reality.

“That can’t be real! Should I turn my head or not?”

“Let’s have a quick look again! But it moves too fast for me!”

“Right Eleanor. Braved up and see what’s that”. I tilted my head slightly but careful not to have a big movement in case that alerted it. But I can’t see anything at all. !Maybe it is just some illusion.”

“Oh goodness.. there’s a little baby underneath the …. ”

Oh no.. what could it be?? My heart starts to race….

“Ok. Stay calm. Take a deep breath! I know it is the seventh month of the Chinese calendar but it is not the 14th today.. can’t be the “eeekkK” …. Oh.. but some say that the hell door opens on the first day of this month, and … they can be anywhere…. ”

“No … don’t scare yourself, you little gutless prick… think… think… what should you do?”

My heart is still pounding hard and fast on my chest.

“Ok, take a deep breath. Right…. let’s see. There’s a baseball bat behind the shoes cabinet. Go and grab it.”

“So if it is the… “eeekkk”… what use of that?? .. arggh.. don’t think too much,… just go and grab it!”

I slowly raise my body up from the sofa, and slowly, almost tip-toeing, walking towards the shoes cabinet. I don’t know why I felt compelling to tip-toe but whatever it is, it must have gone inside the kitchen now.

My heart is beating quicker every step I tip-toed and I am dead sure if I have had the heart beat reading now, it would have shoot up to over 150 beats per second. Ok, that is a bit exaggerating. But I feel as if my heart is going to jump out from my mouth, slightly nauseated.

Soon I am at the shoes cabinet and I quickly grab the bat. My legs started to feel like jelly yet when I tried to lift one by one up to walk towards the kitchen, they are so heavy as if tons of metal chained to them.

“Will it still be in the kitchen? Do I walk fast enough? But why is the distance to the kitchen is so far tonight. The house can’t be that big. Maybe I just walk too slow. I need to quicken my pace, .. but if I walked too fast, I might alert it, whatever that “shadow” is.”

Whilst I was debating in my head, I found myself at the entrance of the kitchen. I peeked through the little window to the kitchen. I couldn’t see anyone but I know I have to get in as there are some blind spots through the window.

Although I have an average built frame, I have attended some kick boxing and body combat classes in my local gym. I am sure my practices of upper cut or leg kicks would be useful. Hopefully “it” doesn’t have any other weapon and I could react quickly than it does. In any case, I don’t have any more choice except to march forward.

Or if “it” is an “eeekkk…”.. well I guess I just have to shout some mantra… and oh.. take out the kuan yin pendant hanging from my neck… that should do… “ohm mani padme hum.. ohm mani padme hum… ”

“Take a deep breath and go in the kitchen” I instructed myself and slowly my left leg stepped into the kitchen followed by my right leg. I walked another few steps and looked around, raising up the bat, getting ready to lash at whatever I could see, continuing mumbling the mantra.

“Where could it have gone to? The windows and door are still shut and there is nowhere to go….. except ….
…THE STORE ROOM!!”.

I glanced over to the left and turned my body and I walked slowly to the store room.

“It can’t be in the store room, the lock is untouched …. unless….. OHM MANI PADME HUM.. OHM MANI PADME HUM.” I chanted loudly as I realised the lock remained on the door.

As my eyes were frantically scanning the kitchen, all of sudden, something else caught my eyes.

“Oh goodness…. shite! shite!…! THE PPPOOOTTTT!! Oh dear..mum is going to be so angry!!”

I have completely forgotten about the pot! It has now dried up and from outside of the pot, the bottom has burnt till it is all red-orange colour. Quickly I turned off the gas and I let it cool down. Now I wouldn’t want to risk my hands to get burned.

I didn’t realise I have watched the show for more than 5 minutes. I was so into it that I have lost “consciousness” of my surroundings. I didn’t realise the burning smell now that it slowly crept up to my sense. It is just unbelievable. Mum has always scolded me whenever I am watching TV, I just don’t care about what is happening around me. I always thought mum just likes to nag for the sake of nagging.

“THE SHADOW!” I have completely forgotten about the shadow. I quickly gather my composure and assess every corner. It can’t be going anywhere without my notice.

“Well if it is “eeekkk…” it is a good “eeekk”…. Or it may have been my guardian angel, trying to alert me of the pot. Whatever it is, thank goodness for the shadow! Or else I could have burnt down the house or worst, kill myself in the flame.”

-End of chapter 1 .. to be continued-

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Conquering Groovy (Installation to launching)!

I can’t help but have to document this down, in case I forgot how to do it again. I am currently learning some basic computer programming using Groovy language. The reason I felt I have to write this down is because it is not as straight forward as clicking few buttons on the installation prompt. In fact, this has set me out to learn a lot of other things about computing.

I was given a set of instruction on how to install and use Groovy, however it wasn’t complete. So along the way, I have to figure out a lot of errors and fix it one by one. It is by no means an easy task as I have very minimal to zero background on this. Whilst internet searches help me to finally to figure this out, I couldn’t find a complete step-by-step instructions on how to install and laucnh Groovy, well, in a layman term. I guess that is probably due to most of the users have more knowledge about computing than me.

Yet I refused to give up as I found this so addictive that I couldn’t let go until I found the answer.

Here are the steps, in case I have forgotten.

1. Installation:

Required:

a) Latest Groovy (as of now, the latest version is Groovy 2.1.6)

During installation of Groovy, do remember to change the directory of where the files are going to be stored. For some reasons, Groovy doesn’t work when there are space in the name of the file. Under normal circumstances, installation of new programme will be automatically stored in C:\Program Files or C:\Program Files (x86). Note there are space in between Program and File. This, based on my research on internet, is where Groovy may not work. So change the directory of where the files are going to be stored to C:\. Please refer to the following picture:

Groovy

Another important step is to ensure that the path is linked to the command prompt file. During the installation process, the following box will be shown:

Add to pAth

Do check the “Add to Path” box.

Then click next, and you will see 2 small boxes, the top one is checked and the bottom one is not. Don’t do anything here, except click “Next” or “Finish” (can’t recall now which one it is).

b) Java Platform (JDK) 7u25 (see note 1)

I downloaded Java SE Development Kit 7u25 (Windowsx 64 bit – as per my laptop).
(This is also where the note I was given didn’t specify which environment I should download. Painstakingly I finally found out different environments available and which environment I have to use.)

Note 1:
There are 3 different environments in Java. Simply put, if you just want to view and do not do any development, then just download JRE version (Java Runtime Environment). Java runs on a lot of platforms such as phone, TV, video, music, online games, etc.
JDK environment is basically for development purpose (Java Development Kit) and JRE is included in JDK too. That means by installing JDK, JRE will be automatically installed as well.

For Java, it is a normal installation process, just click some buttons to proceed each step. You’ll be prompt with whether you want to change the directory of the Java files will be located once it is installed. Check the box if you want to, otherwise just proceed.

2. After installation:

During the installation of Groovy, you may be prompt with the following information:

“Cannot identify Java installation. Assuming 32-bit”

I searched for answer, and the consistent answers are to do the following:

1. Go to Control Panel>System and Security>System>
2. Then select Advanced system settings and you’ll see the System Properties pop-up box tab Advanced, as follows:

System properties

Then click on “Environment Variables”and you should get a box, as shown on the left of the picture. This is where you are going to add the path (as in the location of where the files of Groovy and Java you have stored). Click “new” on the top (not below System variables) and you should see New User Variable prompt (right box on the picture:)

Environment Variables

For Groovy, I found it only works if I input $GROOVY_HOME/bin to Variable Value instead of the directory of where it was installed. I am not too sure why.

Contrary to Groovy, I found that by inputting $JAVA_HOME/bin to the Variable Value doesn’t work, so I tried to input the directories of where Java was installed. To be precise, I actually had to try few directory paths, i.e. C:\Program Files\Java\jdk1.7.0_25\bin, C:\Program Files\Java and C:\Program Files\Java\jdk1.7.0_25, and only the last one worked. The other paths didn’t quite point exactly to the path where the JDK.exe file is located.

The following picture summarised the sequence and what it should look like once you have added all the paths:

All

Once you have done this step, restart the laptop/ computer as the paths will only be added/ take effect after restarting the system.

Now that installation is completed, the next hurdle for me was how to launch Groovy. This is where I learnt to use Command prompt for the first time. Anyway, once Command Prompt has been launched, follow these steps:

3. Type cd\ to change the directory and you can start to type the following:
c:\groovyConsole.bat

Groovy Console will be launched.

4. It is advisable to write the programming script on a Notepad. To launch a Notepad, type
c:\Notepad

5. After the script has been written on Notepad, save it and make sure to add extension .groovy at the end of the file name in order for Groovy to identify the file. Close the file.

6. Back to Groovy Console that has been launched. Now open the notepad file, by performing the following task:

File>Open and select the location of where the file is stored and open.

7. Once notepad file is opened, the script should be shown on the top part of Groovy Console:

Groovy Console

8. Click “Execute Groovy Script” as circled in red on the following picture:

Groovy-runscript

Also note the that the bottom pane of the console is now repeating the instruction, and waiting for the input of a word.

This script is programmed for the user to key in input through command prompt. So launch the command prompt again and type in a word.

I have typed “I fell hyper!” and pressed Enter (this is important otherwise, Groovy doesn’t know you have finished typing). The output is then displayed on the bottom pane of the console:

first input

See there’s another prompt to enter another word. It is waiting for the user to key in another input, and so I typed another word and press enter, as shown below:

2nd input

Note at the bottom of the pane:

“Execution complete. Result was null.”

This marks the end of the script execution!

Categories: Computer Science, Computer Science, Groovy, Java, Life long learning | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Happily Ever After? (Fiction)

“I don’t love you any more, do I, love?”
“No, love”, she replies, nonchalantly.

There was a brief pause and silence.

“Where am I, love?”
“We are at the hospital, Roy”.
“What are we doing here?” asked Roy again.
“We are here to see doctor. You had an accident few months ago, and now we need to come back for your follow-up.”

I stood and observed the conversation between this couple. When Roy was admitted to the hospital few months ago in an accident, his head was all bloody. He was conscious and kept on insisting that he had to get home to his wife. It was his wife’s birthday. He has planned a surprise for her birthday. But the paramedics knew too well that his condition wasn’t good. Roy didn’t realise the jelly-like on his hair had caused much alarmed to the paramedics.

Well it was still a surprise, except it wasn’t a pleasant one. His wife was all tears when she was at the hospital. Her frail body was supported by her friends who were summoned by Roy a day before for her surprise birthday party. Typical. She could barely speak nor stand when she was attempting to listen attentively to what the doctor had to say to her.

The doctors shook their head and told her to prepare for the worst. Roy was unconscious now despite all the best efforts of the doctors to stitch him back. He looked lifeless on the bed. Eve cried uncontrollably but composed. Perhaps her frail body was too weak, she eventually passed out from the cries. Her friends had to take her and let her rest on the chair.

I could not do much except to observe from afar. My tears were rolling down too without my realisation. They are the most loving couple I have ever known in my life. How could one of them be gone, forever? That is not true. The God is testing them, again. Roy does not look like one who has such a short life. That is not Roy on the life supporting machine now.

Roy and Eve had gone through a lot to be together. Roy’s mother is a superstitious person. She disliked Eve for no reasons, as far as I am concerned. All I could guess was she must be some kind of control freak. She dislikes any girls who go out with her sons. It wasn’t just Eve her mother “attacked”. Roy’s brother, Sam, had the same predicament. She “attacked” Roy’s sister-in-law, then Sam’s girlfriend too.

Eve had gone through tremendous mental torture from her. Every evening at almost the same time she will be going home from work, his mother would drive to her apartment to stalk her. She always get a tip off from either Sam or Roy’s sister, Manny. This always set her in fear and she would then have to stay longer in the office, until she got the “clearance” from Roy.

There was a time, Roy’s mom would come knock on every door in her apartment as she didn’t know which unit she lived in. She knelt before the security guards and pretended to cry begging them to let her in. That was one fateful night that Eve couldn’t escape this torment. She found her unit eventually, and she too knelt before Eve begging her to let go of her son. Eve could see her crocodile tears and also begged her to go. It was the most embarrassing moment in her life. It was as if Eve was having an affair with a married man and now his wife came to beg her to let her husband go. Obviously that wasn’t the case.

There was another incident whereby his mother waited for Roy at Eve’s apartment. The moment she saw Roy came out from the apartment, she went berserk. In one hand, she was holding a lighter and another was a bottle of liquid. Roy didn’t know what it was until she pour on her very own son. Roy smelt petrol and immediately backed-off when he saw his very own mother tried to lit up the lighter. She was screaming and shouting something, which Eve couldn’t hear clearly from afar. She was so afraid but before she could do anything, the security guards came to the rescue and threw Roy’s mom out from the compound. Roy was furious rather than scared.

After that incident, Roy decided to move out of his own house and found a place far away from his mom. He took Eve with him as he knew his mom wouldn’t let Eve go. And so they moved to another country, to where they are now. They got married and as the fairy tales go, happily ever after.

Or do they?

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What I Learnt About Myself: My past experience

Into different phases of life

Since I have figured out how introverted I am, although I still feel I have this compelling urge to decode the other 3 dichotomies of my personality based on Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), i.e. intuition, feeling and perception, I can’t help to feel a bit disorientated. I thought by discovering I am an introvert, I could at least start to figure how I can move forward or at least have formed a direction of how I could move forward. So I started to question myself whether this is important or whether it would make any difference to my future if I didn’t decode it. Or is it just how I am? Would I be wasting another few days, weeks or months to figuring this out? I don’t know to be honest.

I continued to research and read about MBTI, amongst others including those articles reportedly how bollocks the MBTI assessments…

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What I learnt about myself from “Quiet: The Introvert

Into different phases of life

I have mentioned in my last posting, I am an introvert. What I didn’t mention was I am a 100% introvert. How did I know? I took Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) assessment of personality to assess how we experience the world and make decisions, an extenstion of Carl Jung typology theories. How accurate is it? I thought it was very accurate, but further reaffirmed after I started to read “Quiet” written by Susan Cain. (http://www.thepowerofintroverts.com/)

I knew that I am an introvert for a very long time and I thought I understood it. Yet since I have started this soul searching mission, there are a lot of things about me that I kept on wondering why and what does it behold. I didn’t put any dotted lines between the fact that I am an introvert and these different things I was wondering. My instincts told me that there are something…

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What I learnt About Myself – Challenge 1: Food bank collection volunteer

Into different phases of life

I signed as a volunteer for a charity drive to collect food items at one of Tesco Metro shops. I was placed at the exit point of the counter, i.e. to collect food items donated by customers, which also marks the end of their shopping trip. There was another person stationed at the entrance to either give out leaflets or to create the awareness of such activity.

The charity organisation that drives such campaign is Fareshare. It is a non-profit organisation with a mission to fight hunger in the UK by re-distributing surplus food to over 900 charities across the UK, such as home shelters for homeless people, children’s breakfast and elderly luncheons. Surplus food is food produced in excess, either due to poor planning, over-forecast, wrong labelling or simply just not good enough to be shelved in the supermarket. These surplus food items are normally fresh food such as…

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What’s next after what’s next?

Since I have written my first blog on what’s next after I have resigned and now in unemployment, I have been searching and searching. I did search externally by attending few talks and trying to find out what or more importantly how I could find my next moves. I have attended a career planning seminar, which I have also written about it on my blog (https://gooly2012.wordpress.com/2013/03/20/5-pence-in-life/), an entrepreneurs networking session, a career fair which targeted at women and moms, etc. Mind you, all of these were free events and I didn’t have to pay a penny, except my transportations and coffee.

I also borrowed a lot of books from my local library and did a lot of research online, reading etc. A lot of these provide good advises, practical but definitely require a lot of actions. When I resigned from my last job, I gave an excuse of wanting to pursuing study. Well not quite an excuse since it did hold to a certain extent the truth of my intentions. What do I want to study? Where do I want to study? These are the few questions my last boss asked me. I told him proudly “Psychology” but not quite decided where to study. I told him I needed to do more research. I want to do something completely different to what I have done for the last 10 years.

But why Psychology? Do you want to work with people with mental problems?

Not quite exactly what I intended to do. Obviously when I declared that I wanted to study psychology, I thought I knew about the profession. The fact is I didn’t. I have no idea what exactly how the career world is like for those who have done psychology.

So I started to research. Of course the first step would be the universities. It was a pure intention to enrolling to courses, Master degree as I don’t wish to waste any more time to start all over again. But all Master courses require a foundation degree or diploma in Psychology. I don’t have any of those.

So I took myself back on the journey of how I started to become an Internal Auditor without following through the traditional route, i.e. doing a Chartered Accountant. I still survived today in this profession although not without any hardships.

I went to a talk organised by The Institute of Internal Auditor in Malaysia one evening after work when I was still working in PwC in Malaysia. That talk changed my life indeed as I was determined to enrol and take the Certified in Internal Auditor exam. Is that a short cut for me? Maybe but more importantly I always like to be different or to be the minority. So in this psychology route, I was wondering whether I could do something similar?

I looked at the syllabus of the psychology courses offered in most major universities in the UK. To be honest after reading the content, I was less motivated to study Psychology. It sounded boring to me and I did wonder whether I really want to study that? I wasn’t sure, in particular when I was told that I have to either spend 3 -4 years in Bachelor’s degree in order to gain an entry to the Master degree. I am not young anymore and definitely not prepared to be out of job for so long. Then to my aghast, I have to spend another 3 years in order to be able to gain myself into that uptight psychology profession. Do I want to do that?

I went to a “Clinical Psychology” talk in March without knowing what exactly the talk was about. In a way, it was similar to the Internal Audit talk I went to many years ago, which helped me to decide to go into that route. However this talk was different. It didn’t quite have the same impact on me. It was in fact on the contrary, I wanted to get out of the room almost immediately. The presenters were from NHS working as a clinical psychologist. Whilst their work is undeniably demand respect, they are to me somewhat uptight. And I really can’t envision myself being one.

There was only one clinical psychologist to-be who has all the charms a normal human being have. That was because he has had more than 10 years of odd jobs life experience. He decided to try himself out in clinical psychology eventually. He graduated with Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology but decided to do something different apart from the psychologists route. He has a breadth of life experience, facing and dealing with people of which he must have acquired some other soft skills that other conventional psychologists don’t have. Then again, I don’t know anyone who works in that field. So I can’t quite conclude that psychologists lack the normal human nature. Would they?

I wonder if psychologists will view all human beings as a subject of study? I think if I am one of them, I would. Would I then lost that normal human touch? The normal human interaction without passing any judgments consciously or sub-consciously? Then again, even when I am not one, I am a very judgemental person and I would boxed people up in different categories. So I guess it is not to do with the profession, but more so of my own restrictive knowledge of human mind and mental and behaviour.

Now after having done some research of psychology discipline, from what I thought I know about to a confucious state of mind due to the number of schools of thoughts to different associations in the UK market, abd to varying degrees of specialisation, I can only conclude now that I am ever more confused than before the research. I wonder if it is me who is just being so green in this field or that discipline itself is so diverse that opens to interpretation and practices? Do I want to be in that field that I couldn’t even understand to begin with?

So I am back to the basic question. Why do I want to study Psychology? Can I really work as a psychologist? There are a lot of not so glamourous about this profession and practice. Can I afford to do that?

Why do I want to study psychology?

The first thing I thought about was I wanted to understand human and in that process I can only do so if I study the discipline and the subject. But most importantly I want to help people to solve their problems. Or could I? I don’t aspire to work with those with serious mental illness. I guess I only want to work with people with mental health problem. It is a big difference as mental health problems, to my limited knowledge, are what we are facing in our normal life, i.e. stress given either by ourselves, society or perceived demands. I could be having mental health problems and so is anyone around us.

But I am more interested in helping people to unleash their potentials and optimise it. That brings me to career counseling. I do enjoy doing that. When my friend and I were choosing for our universities and programmes many years ago, I knew instantly what I wanted to do or where to do it, with the restrictions I have. I managed to decide that on my own and on top of that, helped my friend or rather pushed my friend to go for her opportunity to study abroad. That gave me a sense of satisfaction as  if she was living my dream of studying abroad.

Then later in my breathing years, I also helped another newly acquainted friend to steer his direction of study and eventually choice of career. I did so by the combination my observation and analysis of his personality, behaviour, thinking method, etc. He is now doing that and fingers crossed that I have given the right advice.

So what gave me the nerves to do that? I have no idea but just pure gut feeling. So I must be either good in this or people just basically need some push in order to pursue what they think they want or they really want to pursue.

But is that really what I want to do then? I don’t know but that sense of satisfaction is definitely there.

I bought a book “Jung” many moons ago and only  now I have the will to read the book. It is about Carl Jung, his early days in the profession, his relationship with Sigmund Freud, etc. More interestingly, I could associate with him or more specifically he had done something what I am doing now. No surprise as he was in the psychology field, you may think. But what I didn’t know was when he was in his late 30s, he had withdrawn himself from the world to do some internal search. Exactly what I am doing now. Mid life crisis he labelled that. Not so much of because of menopause, or because of old age. More so of what exactly my life is about.

He explored his own unconscious mind, through his dreams and fantasies. So I am following this now. All of sudden, I realised that it wasn’t a change of career that I am looking for to satisfy my own self existence. It is searching internally, what exactly am I looking for in a broader context. What does my “mask” tell me about me or what is my “persona”, my animus, my partner choice of me as his spouse, etc.

The journey of within continues……

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