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Why 2017 is the time to re-evaluate your workplace | Weekly Reads

For 2017, I set myself a Goodreads reading challenge: my goal is to read 30 books this year. After a disastrous reading year in 2016, in which I read only 15 books, I decided it was time to get back to my regular reading of an average of 30-40 books a year (and if you were reading this blog in 2014, you might remember that I surpassed my Goodreads challenge of 52 books!). Reading has always been my favourite hobby and I’m no way letting it go, even when adult life will get busier!

However, as I did mention in a whole post last year, it doesn’t mean that I’ve stopped reading. In fact, I’ve been reading more than ever, digesting news on Pocket and my favourite blogs. Recently, my Twitter has become a freaking ‘news’ feed, literally. I’ve been spamming it with articles and videos I find interesting.

Therefore, I’ve decided to renew a very old ‘trend’ of mine on this blog: previously called Sites of the Month, I used to collect my favourite links/articles of the month and post it up for you guys to read as well. This time, I’m calling it Weekly Reads because, you guessed it, it’s going to be a weekly thing, every Sunday. Because I read too much in a week anyway.

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So here they are, my top web articles of the week!

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Who I Am Becoming In 2017

At the last few seconds of 2016, I stood strong, waiting for the fireworks. At the first few minutes of 2017, I noticed how my arm was not tired, my hands not trembling, from holding up my phone to film those 10 continuous minutes of beautiful bursting fires in the sky. That actually surprised me; it seemed that my workout sessions, as irregular as they can get because a university student’s irregular schedule, had paid off.

For many, this is probably a very small insignificant detail, but to me, at that moment, it meant everything. I only started taking care of my fitness and physical health in April 2016 for the first time in my life, and I have come far in terms of physical endurance, as well as pain tolerance and delayed gratification. Maybe not as far as I could have, but far enough.

But most importantly, I stood mentally strong. 

There was a point in 2016 where I felt that all the hardwork I had put into building myself for the past 2 years of staying on my own in Malaysia, all the efforts put into self-esteem and confidence, had been in vain as I was crumbling back to being shy and insecure about the slightest of things. As the saying goes, it takes time to create something, but one second to destroy it. And I had to rebuilt myself in the last months of 2016. I had to slowly but surely get back up and move on with life.

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When Christmas Is Just Another Day

25/12/2016

Today I’m celebrating Christmas… just like any other (Sun)day.

I woke up as usual, did a morning workout, ate breakfast, all without hearing Christmas songs or gifts being unwrapped under the Christmas tree. To be honest, I didn’t even buy a Christmas tree.

However, I did go out and did some last minute Christmas shopping for an upcoming special event. Then, I went to watch Rogue One: A Star Wars Story on the way. After some grocery shopping, I finally went back home. It was definitely the ‘calmest’ Christmas I have ever spent.

It didn’t disturb me at all. I just felt… at peace. 

I don’t need a fancy Christmas tree or new clothes or a huge dinner to feel the spirit of Christmas. If Christmas is all about giving without expecting anything in return, giving in genuineness, love and kindness, then I have spent a good Christmas, and it’s enough.

Have I defeated the power of the commercialisation of Christmas? Yes. Maybe. Almost 🙂

Anyway, I would just like to keep it short and wish you all a Merry Christmas!

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Love,

An Evil Nymph.

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My Personal Goals for 2017

2016 has been the best and the worst year for me (and I have a feeling that I say that every year!). It has also been the most hectic year of my life. Challenging, rewarding and often tiring. On the other hand, 2017 is going to be a more ‘chill’ kind of year, at least at the start (and at least that’s what I think).

When the semester starts, I won’t having any particular responsibilities. It would also be my last semester, which is actually more relaxed because I finished all my core units (subjects) this year. I’ll also be graduating and will either be working or applying for a Honours year after that. This part looks hectic, but to me, it is more like a time for me to do some introspection and take a break. Reflect on what I have done so far. Choose my next move wisely.

Therefore, although I’m not a usual ‘resolution list’ person (despite my very very old posts here in this blog haha), I’ve decided to focus on a few personal goals for me to work on and achieve in 2017.

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Second Chance | A Short Story

Disclaimer: This is a short story I wrote at the beginning of the year and which never got a chance to be published, so now here it is, out in the world. Enjoy!

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His left eye burst into a river of blood.

Daan screamed. Thick red droplets fell onto his laboratory reports and experimental drawings. He stumbled away from his desk, knocking down his chair. He covered the wound with a trembling hand.

It had already begun.

He winced as he went for his desk and grabbed the little amethyst next to his pencils.

“Prepare for imminent evacuation,” he said, clutching the pebble so hard that his knuckles turned white. “I repeat, prepare for imminent planetary evacuation.”

“What?! Now?!” The voice coming through the stone was clear. It felt like Troi, his best friend and the most competent engineer of the century, was standing beside him. “I thought we’d have more time to complete the remaining flying ships…”

“Well we don’t. We need to evacuate the whole planet now. Every citizen of Homothea has to be rescued before…” He cried out as more blood gushed down his cheek. The amethyst slipped from his fingers.

“What’s going on? DAAN! Answer me!”

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The Joy of Being Alone

Disclaimer: This was written on Saturday 26th November, on the way back home. A short piece, unedited, that I just felt like sharing. 

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I’ve forgotten how to be alone.

I’ve forgotten how it feels to appreciate a meal outside of my home with my own company.

I’ve forgotten how to take solo adventures, like little trips to the city, and reflect on myself.

This year has been the least lonely year I have ever lived. From being part of a committee, to a community to a family. I’ve constantly been surrounded by friends. I’ve been left with very little time to myself.

So when the last semester of the year was over, I was left with mixed feelings. I was eager to go back to a tranquil lonely life, yet I was also apprehensive of it.

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Ipoh: The Art Gallery

Last weekend, I travelled to Ipoh.

Malaysia has those 3 UNESCO World Heritage sites/towns which preserves colonial buildings and celebrates art. First, I went to Penang (several times in fact), as many readers of this blog would know, and fell in love with it. Then, I challenged myself to have a one-day trip to Melaka with my significant other, did it; it was amazing. Finally, I was able to complete the list by going to Ipoh on the 17th November this year.

I just love those kinds of places. They connect me to my… roots: art.

I’d thus like to share some of the beautiful art I’ve seen there. You’ll immediately understand what I’m talking about. So here it is, the art gallery of Ipoh town:

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Enjoy!

Yep, just a short post for today. Hopefully, I’ll be able to post more on this blog now that holidays are here!

An Evil Nymph.