Wednesday, October 17, 2012


Do you believe in fate?

As in, somewhere out there, there are pre-determined plans for you. No matter how you try to change it, you seem to be left with options that will lead you down the same path. That same door is left, time and time again.

I think I'm a believer.

They say your life is an equation of all your decisions. Well, that is true... only to a certain extent.

There has been so many instances, where I initially had a plan. Naturally, when you have a plan, you stick to the plan right? Common knowledge. But no... every time my "plan" comes to a crossroad, things never go as I have planned. Some random door always finds its way onto my crossroads, with a gravity to deviate me from my plans. While I make a decision to open this unexpected door, it was not my original intention to open this door. Thus it is not entirely my decision that I chose this post-door path. Fate presented an opportunity to alter my decision. Which means, fate has control over my life, and my decisions. Therefore, life is dependent on fate, not on my decisions, because fate messes with my decisions. This proves that the premise of "life is an equation of all your decisions" to be inaccurate. Confused yet?

So with every crossroad, plans change... into another plan.

And its like a song on loop. It repeats itself. That is exactly how I have stopped making anything more than a short-term plan. Long-term plans never live long enough to see fruition anyway. As such, I have also stopped talking about long-term plans.

You see, we're here again. At this crossroad.

Day before yesterday, I was so sure I was going to take this blue door today. However, this annoying red door sprang on me yesterday.

I should really have seen this coming. Why don't I ever learn?

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Reflections after a cappuccino

This morning has been a very rare occasion.

There I was sipping my cappuccino in McDonald's, with a paperback in the other hand, letting time just slip by. Catching just the right amount of the elusive British sun from the window in the gorgeously comfortable 16'C weather, and a hint of chatter from the other patrons accompanying as background noise. Might I say, the background noise was ideal, no kids because it's a weekday and they're in school, not too loud as most people are at work. I have never felt so relaxed and carefree for a long while.

Although I was expecting a phone call from the garage for when my car has finished its MOT, I pretty much have the next hour to blissfully waste away.

My engrossment in the book was suddenly interrupted by a McDonald's staff. In short, she was advertising a £1 raffle to raise money for the Ronald McDonald House Charities, and the winner stands to win an enormous "I LOVE DAD" hamper. I told her, my dad is not around here, but I'm happy to contribute anyway. She gave me a sheet to fill my name and contact details next to a number, I was quite pleased to write next to my favourite No.2, which has not been claimed yet. She also made a point to clarify that my contact details will not to passed to any third party, along with all those standard disclaimers, to which I just said "Don't worry about it, I trust you". A subtle wash of relief took over in her face, as I watch her relax and explain that many customers prior to myself had wanted to know that information which is why she is doing it.

As she left, I took a quick glance on my phone - 10.55am. My car must be ready any time now. I polished off what's left of my now barely warm beverage, bookmark my book, and released myself into cool breeze and sun cocktail of a weather on the walk back towards the garage.

The walk was brief. With no other distractions but walking, I set myself to autopilot and reflected:

If I had been approached in the same manner 5 years ago, I would have politely given her an excuse to not participate. While it's not pretty to admit, that was the person that I was. Not because I wasn't kind. Simply because I would have thought too much.

Maybe it was the culture that I grew up in, or even the unofficial education that I've had through the years. Maybe it was the scandals I've read in the news, or even just observing other people who have behaved similarly. The idea was, people just do not approach you for no good reason, they are always after something. However, "Charity", was not recognized as a valid reason because it does not translate to any personal gain on the pursuer's part. Thus, I should be more guarded because the actual motive is being deliberately concealed. If there is something to be hidden, it must not be good. Many in society believed that charities are scams, and that they often fail to make a difference anyway, and are therefore branded as a waste of time, effort and resources.

If I don't already trust this person, why should I surrender my money, name, or contact details to him. To outsmart his unknown scheme, I should be considered wise to prevent his endeavors from bearing fruit.

What a load of rubbish this is to me now.

I have learnt a valuable lesson in life - TRUST.

I believe that I should make a difference to this world. No matter how big or small the effort is, it's a social responsibility. I believe that if I try, I will somehow make a difference. No matter how big or small the difference is, there will be a difference. If I am incapable of putting myself out there doing all the hard work, I should TRUST the organizations that actually does go out there and do all the dirty work.

I TRUST in kindness.

I give to organizations that I believe are capable of delivering their end of the bargain. I give sensibly according to my own means, not extravagantly. I do not give blindly, especially to beggars. I believe that if one is able, and have an excess, it is more worthwhile to be contributed to help make someone's life better, than splurging on a luxury object that holds no moral value.

I BELIEVE in giving, more than receiving.

I give away part of my income monthly to an organization of my choice, because I earn enough to live on. I will put on a funny headband for a days work to help raise money for British Heart Foundation. But how many young people these days are actually willing to part with their money for people who are less fortunate? Let alone on a regular basis. Many lament that its never enough for them, they always want more. Giving away a part of their personal wealth is simply antagonizing their mission to hoard more. Other come up with various excuses about protecting their information, and preventing scammers from making a profit. That disappoints and saddens me that despite years of evolution and civilization, greed remains unchanged, deeply etched within society in one form or the other. Even if its not greed, fellow human beings simply judge someone they don't know much about - as someone they can't trust.

I am terribly frustrated. If the society carried on doubting, and scrutinizing everything that is trying to do good, that will perhaps be the end of kindness. To be kind, one first needs to trust. I have seen and experience so much kindness, I know it is worth it. I only hope others will believe in it too. And for those who is like the old me, eventually shake off the stigmas, and embrace a new kind of trust.

Monday, May 07, 2012

9 months of serious can do this to me.

A lot of people that are not apart of my immediate day-to-day life has probably lost track of me. Admittedly, I have not been blogging, been much less active on Facebook, never on messenger, almost always offline on Skype.

No, I've not been commissioned off to be a spy.

To put it simply, too many thing have happened. I found myself having grown an incredible amount over the past year or so. It would be terribly boring, and thrill killing for people who has not been through this phase, therefore I shall not bore everyone with the details.

Well, I've been busy with... adult stuff. Things I used to not care about, because those jobs belonged to our parents, or adults. (By the way, we're not talking about x-rated stuff here.)

To be honest, I have lost interest in a lot of things, in a good way. For example, I have completely lost interest in publicizing every minute detail (exciting or not exciting) in my life. Be it on the blog, or Facebook, or the need to tell someone about it even though no one is around (this is where messenger comes in). The other big excuse for it? I don't have the time to indulge in self-publicity anymore. Nor do I find any satisfaction, or meaning behind it anymore. As much as I hate to admit this, I was doing it just like everyone else, only refusing to consciously admit that I was doing it. Looking back to my pimple filled teenage years, it seemed so very silly that it was such a big part of being socially relevant. I have since waved goodbye to these antics of yester-years, and have embraced the comfort of obscurity and privacy. I guess at some point, one will eventually get tired of fishing for social attention/ approval, or worse still, public scrutiny at things that you do. Because that is just what some people live to do. People like to pretend that they have influence on your social status, and they use it. People love to judge you because it's an interesting activity to add to their mundane life. In addition to that, for some weird reason, I've noticed that the older we become, the worse it gets. So much for being older and wiser. Plenty grow up to be a bigger child with larger issues. Who cares what other people think? (Except for my boss, of course, he signs my paycheck, he is a big deal) I've stopped caring. They don't need to know, neither should they try poke and pry to attempt to know. To people who are prying, I live a really boring, predictable life. So go send your prying little nose to another person who will give your more exciting information.

The relatively smaller engagement with social media now means keeping in touch with people, many of whom are far away from me, but I still care about. It does not mean, however, that I do not want to update these people of how I am doing though. I am still very happy to catch up, over messages and Skype when the opportunity arrises. Just not shoving information that are not requested down their throats like having-a-spread-in-Hello-magazine style.

I am sure I will update in time, gradually, when I know. But for the essentials, I am really happy at work, been working so hard my salary now is more than double what it was this time last year. Perfect excuse to explain my busy-ness. I have not posted on this blog I was in Rome last November, I've been back home to Malaysia in January for CNY. For anything else, call me ;)

Saturday, September 17, 2011

It's all about relaxation

Let's try a refreshing change on this blog. Literally.

Instead of talking about serioussssss stuff, I'm gonna talk about other things that makes me happy! Like my bargains and success in giam-ness.

(For work and related stuff is starting to consume me even in my dreams. Oh the horror! I can feel those wrinkles coming!!)

By now, I like to think that I'm pretty good at indulging in relaxation therapies and consuming recovery food to help my poor lethargic body recover from the stress I cruelly put it through, throughout the week. And I thought I would just share my little moments of indulgences, because it has done wonders for me so far!

I love my showers. My 10 minutes worth of pleasure everyday after work. The bubbles, lathers, smell, rush of warm water, and like Gargamel from The Smurfs, I love being around STEAM :) Other than enjoying my Tresemme shampoo, and The Body Shop Shower Gel (Pomegrenade). Sometimes on my weekend off I like to go that extra mile for my body: a BATH SOAK + Full Body Exfoliation :)

LUSH's bathbomb - Avobath is my favourite!
(Click to go to website)
It smells absolutely heavenly and is made from Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Avocado, Essential oils (Lemongrass, Bergamot, Rosewood). Pure natural goodness for my body! Only £2.99 for 1 home spa session. A treat a month is all I need. Who says money can't buy happiness?

The Body Shop - Exfoliating Gloves
(Click to go to website)
After 5 minutes of soaking and skin softening in the bath, I polish my body with these babies. Even if I haven't got time for a bath, I exfoliate weekly anyway at the end of my shower when my skin is super soft! Great for the hard skin on my feet. Off with all the dull dead skin! Makes a good all over massage too. Bought it for £2 last Christmas.

Once I've got myself all clean and smelling nice, I'm totally in the mood for my skincare routine. My new skincare motto is: Protection. At 22 years old, it is a little too early to be considering full-on anti-aging products (even though I am terrified at the mere thought of a single wrinkle) , while still battling the tail end of my zit-phase. Thus I've decided to go for the in-between which is preventing the criminals that are aging triggers, ie. UV rays, oxidized damage from our polluted environment, and skin stress! My skin type is Dry Combination, and these are what I am using at the moment:
(Click to go to website)
Priced at £14, I bought this for £4. What a steal LOL.

(Photo stolen from Dinky Delight)
Used with my old scrublet from my ex-cleanser L'Oreal Perfect Clean, which I adore to bits and will take it with me even when I'm travelling, still using even after changing cleansers :) It's super gentle, and yet cleans like a dream! The bristles do get into all the nooks and crannies on the face, and my face has never been smoother! I DO like the scrublet even more than the cleanser itself. By the way, this cleanser was £ 5.10, but I managed to get the Clinique cleanser for less. How awesome is that!

The Body Shop - Cucumber Water
(Click to go to website)
Using so many products, I am budgeting on my toner. Only £4, smells soothing and refreshing, contains the simplest ingredients, works perfectly well.

(Click to go to website)
I got this free from the Clinique counter. Using this serum once a week now for that extra boost for my skin!

(Click to go to website)
Priced at £16.50 (50ml) , I bought this for £11.50. Yet another steal LOL. Swapped to this last year as my skin decided to go on strike or something, it was sensitive to EVERYTHING. Red, inflammed, peeling skin and all, undoubtedly ANGRY SKIN! After trying several products, I gave up and went to the Clinique. Since then, I have found my holy grail. I prefer this to the large pump bottle, because I just can't get every single drop out of the large bottle. This tube is also small enough to travel with, and also very mess free!

(Click to go to website)
My weekly deep cleansing hero with Dead Sea Mud and Kaolin Clay to draw out impurities, at a budget price of £ 2.59. Lasts 3 months on a weekly use basis. £1 / month IS a bargain.

My staple. My new can't-live-without. SPF 15 to protect against UV rays, light coverage that is good enough for everyday use with a nice glow, great oil control, plus anti-aging benefits. The perfect product.

For my body, it gets a bit of love on a regular basis now. After my mom caught a glimpse of my horrible leg that is....

Super dry and scaly, I didn't even realize what its become. But this is now history.

The Body Shop - Dewberry Body Lotion
(Click to go to website)
I'm not a fan of spending ages on spreading it all over, just because all over is ALOT of area to cover. And also I dislike stickiness and oiliness. For regular use, something cheap and goes a long way like this £4 lotion keeps me happy! It's super light, but surprisingly moisturizing enough to keep my scaliness at bay. It's light texture makes me a breeze to apply and dries out into a film in an instant!

(Click to go to website)
9-10 hours of standing at work has taken a toll on my poor feet. No matter how awesome the footwear is, I still get hard skin on pressure points. Not to mention the odour from hours of sweating in the shoe. I treat my feet to a warm feet soak with these peppermint crystals once or twice weekly now to improve blood circulation on the feet, deodorize, followed by a gentle exfoliation with the glove I have shown above! Bought in the half-price sale for £3.50. Needs only 2 pinches each time, still pretty much have the whole container left after 1 month!

Food wise, I've taken initiative to consume more goodness to counteract the immense amount of stress that I'm going through!

Packed full of goodness, enzymes and antioxidants. Great sweet drink alternative to soft drinks.

Antioxidants, flavonoids, anti-cancer.

Antioxidants, Lycopene (for skin), Vitamins and beta-carotene (for eyes) :)

Essentially, I believe, the more you ask of your body, the more you should give back to it. If I don't take care of it, I can't make the most of it. It may seem like I'm spending a fortune (as a accumulation of many little bargains), but it works for me at the moment, and I feel good. When I feel good, I can perform at my best!

P/s: Work is going really well, plans are underway, but no extra information can be revealed until a later date!

Cheers all, and be good to yourself!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Of Lemons and Lemonade

When LIFE throws you a lemon, you take that bloody lemon and make a smashing lemonade out of it.

If there's anything I've learnt, things ALWAYS happen for a reason. Especially the "bad" things. On hindsight, they have always turned out for the better.

Of course, these situations are never easy. But you will always make it out of there, in a much better place.

Cry/ moan/ whine for a while. Letting out those extra emotions are always healthy. Once its over suck it all up and turn all that into POSITIVE energy!

What's that but a little obstacle. Think of all the people who are much less fortunate, who have no aim in their lives but only to survive long enough to see the next sunrise.

And then realize that life has been kind to you.

Then find that determination to overcome the obstacle ahead.

Success will only be found by those who seek it. Those who wait to be found by success will be waiting forever.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

The Start of my Career

The Registration

On 25th July 2011, I sealed my status as a qualified healthcare professional as my name got permanently imprinted onto The Register of Pharmacists. I was given an number which I had to display on every premise that I work in, a unique number for which the public could check to make sure that I was a legitimate professional. That catapulted me fully, and I mean FULLY into realization of how far I've come, how much training I have had, and most importantly, how ready I was to take this on.

The First Day

Every August, I will come to celebrate the anniversary of my career. Turning up, a little nervous, plenty excited, I was keen to start tasting the success. The first couple of days took plenty of getting used to. I've worked in 4 different pharmacies, 3 different areas, 2 different companies, and that's only over the past 3 years that I've been in the UK. You'd think there was nothing to get used to, but there still were much that was different.

Getting used to being the manager. Where you have to make all your decisions on your own two feet, no more tutor to consult to.

Getting used to different stores/ staff/ stock/ dispensary/ customers quickly. So that I may carry out the days activities seamlessly, as if their regular pharmacist was not absent.

Getting used to there being only one of me. There are tasks that only I could do, they vary, and I may get interrupted. But it is an essential balancing act that I needed to master skillfully.

The Verdict so far...

has been fantastic. I've had great feedback from stores, hoping that I'd come back. Customers wanting to know when I am going back to the store. Staff whose jaws dropped when he found out I've only been practicing for under 2 weeks, he could not believe it at all. I've been inspired by some customers, and also inspired a few others. Told people off for inappropriate behaviour, which went down smoothly because I was doing the right thing. So far so good.

It's a learning process, every single day.

Monday, August 01, 2011

Responsible Pharmacist

It's high time I updated... concisely!

20th July 2011, graduated MPharm (Hons) from The University of Nottingham
24th June 2011, General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) Registration Exam
29th June 2011, commenced new training on Foundation Management Program
5th July 2011, Foundation Management Forum + Prereg Grand Ball
19th July 2011, finished 52 weeks of training at Lloyds Pharmacy Kidlington
22nd July 2011, passed the Registration Exam
25th July 2011, was admitted into the Register of Pharmacists by GPhC
1st August 2011, a Relief Manager for Lloyds Pharmacy.

As you can see, the time from June till today (1st August) has been a huge flurry of events that are emotionally challenging. Where do I even begin to write?

The Exam...
Took 2 weeks off work to revise. Wrong choice. Should have taken longer. I've learnt, and read the same things a million times. And yet I find myself determined to read it again. Its utterly peculiar the effect this exam has on me. I stayed over at Birmingham's Jury's Inn, kindly sponsored by Lloyds, but finding it rather impossible to study further, or even sleep. The feeling was akin to having too much of something, and eventually feeling sick of it. Exam organization was a complete mess. As if the stress was not bad enough. Many of us, including myself walked out of the hall, after a whole days worth of exams, feeling dejected and defeated.

The Result...
Lo and behold, as if a miracle, I passed! After nights of nightmares and struggles to download the pass list, I saw my name on the list. I had to look twice to believe it was true. I don't need this blog entry to remind me how I felt at the time, because I know it is a feeling that I will remember forever. The result has mindblowing effects. Most people that I've spoken to, CRIED. I did. It was just the gush of emotions and relief, from the ridiculous amount of hard labour, in uni, at summer jobs, at work. Everyone who pass, at least poured their life into it. And that, I say, is the minimum requirement to succeed in this. Nothing less.

To be continued...