Tuesday, April 04, 2017

WHAT WENT DOWN LAST WINTER




Hey Internet friends, I've been busy with my job-hunting and I hope the first quarter of your 2017 has been productive! In the meantime, I'm leaving this right here hehe. Will check in into this space again when time permits (hopefully soon!!!!).








Wednesday, March 08, 2017

HAPPY INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S DAY




.... to all the women who're born as a female or the ones who identify as a girl.


I've something very special and exciting to share with you guys. The Tinsel Rack, a local fashion label, whom I've worked with for a while now and have asked if I'd like to do a collaboration with them for IWD. Trust me, I was beyoooooooond happy!!!!!!!!!

I've collaborated for interviews a couple of times but I'd say this is the most meaningful one I've done. I really poured my heart into it and I hope you guys would like it as much I do.

(Also, the fully designed editorial is on TTR's mailer.... I don't know how to copy the whole thing here *shrugs* so let's make do with this: view here)



1#
Do you have any female role models? 
Why do you love them and how do they inspire you?
Ugh I have so many! The one that inspires me the most would probably be Angelina Jolie. She is one of my biggest role models. The world knows her for her acting ability, beauty and even her wild younger days. However, to me she’s more than that. 

She is a mother to a large, diverse family. She is a reputable humanitarian who has been to more than 40 countries for mission trips. And most importantly, she is a woman who defies social norms. Her actions in the political and charity scene inspire me to make a change and better the world in my own way, within my own capacity. 


2# 
What do you love about being a woman?
Even though I enjoy being a woman (cause it’s the only thing I have known since birth), I do not see it as a superior OR inferior gender. There should be no distinction or discrimination. 

While we celebrate International Women’s Day, I wish for my daughter(s) a world where:
- She could walk down any street in the world without being harassed
- She could choose to be a housewife and no one undermines her decision for it
- She could also choose to be a career woman, get to play on the same playing field as everyone else in the corporate world and be paid the same
- She holds the rights to abortion, to vote, to work, to marry the person she wants
- She shows her emotions and people do not use her weaknesses against her
- She could breastfeed in public without being shamed
The list goes on. I wish for the day where everyone embraces each other’s differences. As much as today is about women, we're all humans afterall ♡


3#
Any interesting quote you wanna share/thoughts about empowering women!
There is post I saw on Instagram but it has been removed. It goes, “I want my friends to to understand that “staying out of politics” or being “sick of politics” is privilege in action. Your privilege allows you to live in a non-political existence. Your wealth, your race, your abilities or your gender allows you to live a life in which you likely will not be a target of bigotry, attacks, or deportation, or genocide. You don’t want to get political or you don’t want to fight because your life and safety aren’t at stake. 

It is hard and exhausting to bring up issues of oppression (aka “getting political”). The fighting is tiring. I get it. Self-care is essential. But even if  you find politics annoying and you just want everyone to benice, please know that people are literally fighting for their lives and safety. You might not see it, but that’s what privilege does.” 



As women living in Singapore, we are blessed with having a lot of opportunities. However, we have to constantly remind ourselves to always consider for others and remind grateful for the people who’ve fought hard before us (think Suffragettes - watch the movie if you haven’t)! 


Remember: women should always support women ♡




Lastly, thank you Joyce (founder of TTR) for making this happen!
It's always a pleasure working with you - you know it *wink*









Here's the direct link to the editorial on TTR's fb
if you want to show some love: here you go








Friday, March 03, 2017

THE NEW HANG-OUT SPOT IN TOWN


(sponsored)



Last week, I was invited to the lyf@SMU launch and I actually had fun! 

"actually".. means I don't usually have fun in such social settings.. because I may appear extroverted but there is a part of me that is very introverted too. While a part of my personality allows me to power through the requisite small talk at events but it also drains me (which is why you don't see me at events that often! Hurhur).

So, going back to what I was saying before: I had a good time at lyf@SMU.



"So what's lyf@SMU?"

With that as a start, you should get the essence of what the whole project stands for. SMU has partnered with The Ascott Limited (Ascott) to offer its students a dynamic and trend-setting co-study, co-work, co-living environment that also serves as a 'living lab' where applied research takes place. SMU also expects lyf@SMU to be the new platform for SMU-industry events catering to students as well as the general public, such as  TED talks, boot camps and hackathons!!

The entire four-storey building is crafted creatively for the millennials. Our fellow millennials' opinions were highly regarded in the process of making this space happen. The moment you enter, feast your eyes with the refreshing and unconventional take on interior. 


"So what's there at lyf@SMU?"

I'll highlight several spots that I personally like and you can find out the rest on your own ;-)

There's this section where there are bikes that power electricity through kinetic energy (pic below). Soon, the extension cords will be installed and that allows you to charge your phones and laptop! The platform is made in such a way that you can rest your laptop there for you to work while you exercise haha talk about healthy lifestyle and efficiency hey!


And then, there's also this soundproof room where you can jam with your friends and.... sing ktv hahahahaaha. Dope?????? We tested it out. The room was real solid. 


There's also the Stress Remedy room where a virtual reality console is available for you to relieve your stress with games such as Fruit Ninja! Despite my bad with hand-eye coordination, I still had a great time trying it out haha.  


SMU Live Labs also introduced a Wi-Fi location & movement data analytics, where they created a heat map that tracks the occupancy of the space using wifi. Student of SMU can now access this piece of technology online and track how crowded Lyf@SMU, and other parts of the school compounds be, before heading over! AMAZING. I want this... in Orchard pls. 

For those who're interested to check out this space, head down to SMU Open House on 4 and 5 March to check it out!!!!! You won't regret it!!!!!!



Special shoutout to Stanley, who's a SMU final-year student as well as a dear friend of mine since secondary school: all the best for all the interviews and the tests you're about to conquer! This is the final lap of school, you've got this!!! Thank you for being such a sport and making the event fun for me too! 










Thursday, March 02, 2017

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MY LOVE




....I hope you don't stumble upon this before you're supposed to....


(please kindly exit this page, play dumb and act surprise later)





Hopefully now you understand why I was stressed out about all my work entries I have, because I really want to do this for you - S U R P R I S E!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This year's birthday is a momentous one. Well, I mean, all of your birthdays is equally significant la. However, this might just be a little extra special because it is possibly the last time you'd be celebrating your birthday without your family and I by your side (fingers crossed)!! (Also, I'm really glad because it is sooooo hard to plan LDR surprises ugh)

Ok so I've said all that I wanted in the letter you've just read. Instead of giving you a mixtape like usual, I thought of doing a blog entry to relive some of the experiences we had together. I feel like, through this, I'll be able to reaaaally celebrate your existence and be reminded how lucky I am to have you in my life (also when you drive me mad).

Sometimes (if you are like me), it is very likely that you might forget an event that has occurred in your life, and I think (at least, for me) pictures help to remember better. To give you a perspective on how absent-minded I can/might be: even when a picture is shown to me, I might not be able to remember the details that followed - "wait, when was this????"

One thing I find fascinating about photographs is that not only a moment is captured but every dominant feelings lingered in the air is locked in along with the visual. Albeit not remembering the details, I'll always remember how I feel in that moment when a particular photo is taken.



On how Ming and I met

This picture was taken on the night Ming and I met. We met in Bangkok. I was there with my girlfriends and I happened to know my good friend, Lucas, was there with his friends as well. We girls were interested to hit the club but we thought it might be too dangerous so I asked Lucas if he'd like to join us. Then, he brought his friends and Ming was one of them. And so, we met.


Serendipity I

I didn't have it easy in my previous relationship. It ended slightly after the one year mark. Then, I took another year to really make it all about myself - self discovery, self love and all that. The journey had been nothing but enriching. I didn't know I was missing out so much on understanding who I was and what I could achieve. 

I remember Lucas reaching out to me every now and then during that period. He knew I was still hurt and was trying to get me out of it. Lucas was very active on Tumblr, and so was I. We always had our mini conversations about how we were so damn single. We both were (laughing nervously now bc y'all might just judge me) pretty into the idea of a Tumblr girlfriend/boyfriend. The people on Tumblr, imo, seemed a lot more sensitive, woke and appeared to be on the same frequency as us. 

Lucas had always been pretty well aware of what I need cause he was there to hear my off-and-on rants. I wouldn't say "my type" cause sometimes we tend to go for things we shouldn't like e.g. we love junk food but it's not what our body needs.  

So, one day (around the late 2013 or early 2014), he said: "Hey Irina, let me intro you to this guy. He's definitely tall. And, he's a good guy."

But................................... I was still not ready to meet someone. So, I said no.

Ming, on the other hand, also ended his relationship in 2013. He was also asked by Lucas if he wanted to be introduced to someone. He hesitated and also declined cause "it was too soon" (or sth along that line haha).


Serendipity II

But somehow, we found our way to each other and we met anyway.


I hated events, and you were always so willing to be my plus one. This event I didn't mind cause it was for Singapore Kindness Movement. It felt extra meaningful that you were there and part of it.


On how Ming asked me out

That very night after Lucas and Ming sent my drunk ass back to my Airbnb, they went back to their hotel (side track: that also explains the ugly ass picture on the night I met Ming). Ming then asked Lucas if it is alright with him if he wants to get to know me. 

I am a very protective person and that has an effect on my loved ones. (Disclaimer: this is not something everyone gets because I've spoken to people about it and not everyone understands. Lucas thinks otherwise of my opinion too. So, it's cool whichever way you swing.) If... I introduce A to B, I'd love to hear about them going out from they themselves instead of being kept in the dark or know about it through a third part, or worse, social media. 

When Ming told me about what he did after the several dates we've been out on, I knew we are on the same page about respect and he probably would understand my protective instincts. I am that kind of person... when a good friend introduces me to his/her good friend(s), I would be cautious and I wouldn't cross certain boundaries. I would definitely not hang out with the new friends without the knowledge of the person who was so pleasantly inclusive and had brought us together to know each other in the first place. This concept might be foreign to some, but I subscribe by that belief and I'm glad the people in my inner most circle do too.

I just respect Ming sooooooo much after knowing what he did. Not only did he display respect for me as a woman and as Lucas' friend, but also show a huge respect to Lucas as a bro.

I love you so much for that, Ming. You're one amazing human who gets me (thank God!).

Also, speaking of being on the same page....


On people I love

While I'm protective, I also love dearly and deeply. My family and friends mean a world to me. They're all my 'person' but sometimes, it is hard for them to see. My mom would assume that my boyfriend is my person BUT she is my person. My boyfriend would then think my best friends are my 'person' BUT he is my person. And yes, my best friends would have the impression that my boyfriend is my person..... but hey, you are all my people, people whom I love.

Before Ming, I made sure the guys I date understand how important these people are in my life. So much so that I believed 'a boyfriend' is of a lower tier than my family and best friends. Reason being, they had always been there for my heartaches and heartbreaks. They were there to catch me when I fell and they would never dump me like a boyfriend would. So, if they called and needed me at any point of time, I'd drop everything to be with them. Before I got to vocalise that to Ming, God put him to a test.

Context (I might be wrong cause yknow... poor memory but... I'm telling this story anyway cause I trust my gut): We were set to go on a date on June 11. I had it all planned out that day.... I was gonna plant a kiss on him as an affirmation for all that he had done for me and that I did view him as more than a guy friend. On that morning, my best friends also told me that they happened to be free and would like to meet! So, I was put in a dilemma. 

Being the generous person that he is, he was willing to share his time with me with my best friends. We spent the whole of afternoon till early evening with my friends and he offered to send them back at the end. Yishun dam is one of my favourite hang-out spots (pictured below) so I brought him there for the first time. We talked a lot about everything and anything but truth to be told, in my head I was just all like, "omg when's a good time/!!??!?!?!" I'm sure y'all feel me, sister!!

When the sun set and I thought it would be a better time to make a move....... and then, a friend called and said, "I lost my cat!!!! Help!!!" I knew I had to go. I knew I had to apologize and end the night earlier than expected. He was very cool about it and instead, he offered to go with me.

Long story short, I did give him the kiss that night. He deserved it :')
I like that he wasn't threatened by the relationships I had with my close friends. Instead, he was willing to be part of every bit of them.


On when I knew I was falling

I got a taste of what LDR could be like with this guy when he travelled to India with his best friends. There were day(s) when he couldn't be contacted. It was so tough. When I found myself going slightly crazy over the absence of a guy who was not even my boyfriend yet, I knew.... I might be in trouble haha. 

Ming handled my newfound emotions well when I couldn't even articulate myself or make sense of what I was feelings. He always dealt with the baggage I paraded from my previous relationship with wisdom and great patience. Before he left, I wrote him letters for him to read daily (in case srsly no contact for almost 2 weeks how), along with a mixtape. He came back with a notebook replying to everything I said. Tell me.... how... could... I have stopped myself from falling.....


Thank you for always helping me out with work ♡

You also knew how much these kids meant to me and you committed yourself to them too. 


You brought me to get a taste of my hometown cause I often miss the food there so much.


The mixtapes I spoke of that we always give each other hehe.


Finally, came a time when Ming officially asked me to be his girlfriend. It was on the ninth of September 2014. He played the guitar and sang me our favourite songs. Shortly after, in October, he had to leave for school.


Even when he was away, I always feel him with me. He has never made me feel alone or lonely. I always have him to count on. His unexpected letters, his random i-love-u texts, his food delivery for me when my mom is not home. 

People ask if LDR is as difficult as it seems and I always say, "It is difficult but it is a liiiiiiiitle easier when you do it with the right person." And I think, well, I mean I hope, you are my right person. I love you sweetheart. Happy birthday once again. 







Also: I thought this will be the longest stretch of our LDR and the longest we'd go without seeing each other but Ming has booked himself a flight home. So, I'll get to feel that face in my hands again this coming 20th March. Till then.