Journal # 136 – Being me

Type 6 INFP. Highly-sensitive person.

These are just labels that pretty much describe who I am. Even the Big-Five personality traits model also indicate the same core traits that revolve around the following:

I don’t do anything if I don’t get the sense or feeling of security or safety. I rely a lot on verbal assurance and/or physical presence to even get through my daily work, especially if I’m dealing with something totally new. This is where I will need to work on my competency that will give me the confidence to deal with situations.

I get stressed out when I have to work in a chaotic or noisy environment. That’s just too much stimulations of my senses. This is where I will need to learn how to unwind and create “me” time at the end of a work day.

I get severely upset after getting criticized on my work a couple of times. This affects my confidence and passion in my work. It will cause quality to fall rapidly. Left uncheck, I will slip into depression. I need to learn to let it go and be a little more professional. Need to remind myself that the world doesn’t revolve around me.

I get stressed out when people even raised their voice slightly when talking to me. I can pick up on the tones, the intent, and mood.

I hate it when I have to keep doing repeating or monotonous work. Making it worse would be to do it within a tight deadline. The only way to prevent me from stressing out about doing repeating work would be to give me something new to do or let me do some personal projects. If left undealt with, I will also slip into depression.

I get upset when I’m forced to do work that doesn’t align with my personal value or stances. It causes massive internal turmoil. I have since learn to let things go from time to time but it still affect me quite badly if I’m not careful.

I need a very long time to recharge after work. That means I can get burnt out a lot faster. That’s why learning to say no, developing my ability to schedule and prioritize work, and learning to compartmentalize is very important. I need to create enough “me” time so that I can recharge in any given 24-hour window.

I hate to be at the center of any attention. I prefer to be behind the scene, and not deal with any people. I prefer to be the side-kick.

Certain smells, noises, and lights overwhelm and upset me. I can learn to manage this but at the same time, letting people know and hope the understand is also as important.

I get hangry and it heightens my already sensitive senses, causing me to get even more upset if I smell certain smells, hear certain type of noise or see certain type of lights. Try imagine to live with your senses tuned all the way up. I can of course learn to manage this.

I hate fakery. For example, I’m a casual person and that dressing up is putting on a fake image. This is akin to stepping on my personal value. I can learn to let it go.

I am open to new experiences but only if they are intellectual-related. Any other type of new experiences may require a little more effort on my part to be uncomfortable but my stress coping mechanism has to be able to handle it.

There are probably many more but I will figure them out as I go through life. Now to achieve success in my life, personal development and growth is very important. I need to figure out a way to work on improving on the above traits, especially those that will affect my professional life.

Here I conclude my journal for today.

Journal #133 – Concluded Psychological Evaluation

“Oh crap!”

That’s how I felt when I woke up this morning. It was 0928hrs and I have an appointment with my psychologist at 1030hrs.

So I went to with my morning routine and showered while my mom prepared a simple sandwich with slices of hard boiled egg and margarine. I rushed out of the house after packing my bag for work at around 1000hrs and ate my sandwich while making my way to the bus stop opposite my apartment block.

I made a mistake of not bothering to set my alarm clock to wake me up at around 0830hrs and left it at the original 0730hrs. So when the alarm did go off, and I intentionally left my phone on my desk, which is a walking distance from my bed, I walked over to switch off the alarm and went back to bed. I had thought I would wake up automatically at around 0830hrs, which would have given me enough time to prepare. Well, I’m not really a morning person unless I’m forced to or when I’m stressed out.

During the past two weeks, I dare say I made sufficient progress in evaluating what I want in my life, and what my goals and fears are. With that, I set a rule and shall constantly be reminding myself that whatever full-time job that I take on shall just be a means to an end. It is to secure necessary funds for me to do what I enjoy: writing.

After my session with the psychiatrist, I went for lunch at Ichiban Boshi at Jurong Point. Then I made my way to my client’s office. Instead of getting the usual Cold Brew, I went with Earl Grey. Why the change? Well, I tend to get acne outbreaks if I ate too much roasted, fried, or oily food. I know most scientific studies were not able to find a connection there but my body just behaves this way. Since coffee beans are mostly roasted, my face had a couple pimples.

At work today, I focus on bug fixing and enhancing one of the modules. Then at around 1640hrs, I went to get two curry puffs from Tip Top Curry Puff. Once I’m done with the puff, I went back to work. Did some testing of the bug fixes and enhancement before uploading the executable to the company’s FTP server.

I left the office at around 1830hrs, I left to a sea of crowd at Raffles Place station. There was a train signaling fault from Ang Mo Kio station to Marina South Pier station. That’s like practically half of the north-south train line. That meant that trains are moving extremely slowly between those stations.

However, I felt extremely pissed at SMRT for shutting down majority of the fare gates. I know that they are trying to control the amount of people waiting at the platforms for the north-south line but it inadvertently affect the people who are traveling on the east-west line. Making things worse is that some of the passengers have issues tapping their ez-link cards to go through the fare gates. One of the reasons why they have problem was that their cards were in their bags and they attempt to scan their card with their bag through approximation. That’s just plain fucking stupid. Is it so hard to take the card out and scan?

So by the time I went through the gate, I was already sweating heavily caused by the amount of heat generated by the large volume of people. If you are wondering why, I am highly sensitive to certain sounds, temperate, and crowds. So in a way, I’m suffering from over-stimulation. Over-stimulation raised my stress level, which led me to blame SMRT for their inability to manage the crowding situation.

Anyway, I reached home at around 1950hrs. Had a shower, and took some painkiller with muscle relaxant before eating dinner at around 2030hrs. The whole day I was feeling like crap. The left side of my body, especially the neck and shoulder area is extremely sore and painful. I had trouble turning or tiling my head to the right or down. I wasn’t sure why.

The painkiller didn’t help though and so I decided to paste on some medicated plaster to help ease the soreness. The medicated plaster did help but then the effect lasted only for a little bit. Now I need to deal with the pain.

After dinner, I went on to watch the last episode of Planet of the Apps and a couple of YouTube videos.

Special Mention

I also want to thank Mr. Yann Girard for letting me know about his book: 121 Unusual Tips to Being a Better Writer. I don’t get direct messages on Twitter unless it’s because I contacted the support team of a specific company for help or when they are my friends. So to me, it is a big deal and I really appreciate the personal touch. As for the book itself, I haven’t really start reading yet but I suppose it may help in my own writing.

One of his articles, From Employee to Entrepreneur in 10 steps, sounds just like a variation of what I am doing now. I admit that I’m fumbling about right now but I see it as necessary. The most important thing is the process of getting to the end goal and not the actual goal.

That’s all for now.

Here I conclude my journal for today.

Journal #129 – Supposed to be a chilling Sunday

There isn’t much for me to update for today.

I spent most of my morning and early afternoon playing Assasin Creed and Watch Dogs 2. I was having a tension headache for most of the day caused by my extensive time in front of a screen.

Then I went for a run with my new running shoes. I wanted to run for 10km. So the moment I start, the running experience felt different from when I was wearing my Adidas shoes, which was meant to be light, airy, and for runners with normal feet. Although the shoes were heavy, it felt comfortable wearing it. Running in them felt like my feet were properly supported and my joints didn’t felt very painful. I was able to run faster in them.

At around 5.30km mark, my left feet hurt extremely bad at where the arch of my feet is. It felt like the tendons in my feet are being pulled apart. So I stopped running and walked instead. A brief googling revealed that it could be Plantar fasciitis. While walking, or when waiting at the traffic light, I shifted my feet around in my shoe until I hit the right angle where it stopped hurting when I walked. I cut the run short and since it was raining anyway, I decided to go home at 6.15km mark.

So at home, when I took out my shoes, I realized that my left shoe was more loose than my right. I suspect it could be because I didn’t tighten my shoe properly that lead to over-pronation during the run.

Anyway, until dinner, it was just me watching YouTube video and then I decided to rent a movie called Train to Busan on iTunes. I only watched the first quarter of the show before it’s dinner time.

The dinner was home-cooked pasta with tomato sauce, prawns, and hotdogs but the mood of the dinner was kind of ruined half way. It also ruined my mood to watch the movie.

Now, I don’t write this kind of thing here but then it’s the kind of situation that I have to deal with every other day at home. Have been dealing with that since I was little but then it doesn’t mean it isn’t stressful.

Come to think of it, the situation I faced every other day at home also serve as a great example of why personal development, especially on the EQ side, and self-awareness is so important. It doesn’t matter if the situation is with family, professional, or friends but if you lack those two, you pretty much ruined any relationship that you have. And these two topics are why I restarted my blog in the first place. I wanted to document my daily journey, what I have encountered, and my thoughts.

I’m not saying I don’t have any flaws since I’m a work in progress. I’m not an empath but I have more self-awareness now, which opened up new opportunities. I also know when I got a problem and it is affecting my relationship with my friends or co-workers.

So the situation at home revolves around my dad. I dare say he lacks the EQ. If he had, he won’t be so sensitive and snapped at family members at the slightest of comments about lifestyle or him. Then he will get somewhat physical, doesn’t matter if it’s against persons or objects. I don’t know if he is aware that his behavior pretty much ruin the atmosphere and mood at home, and raise cortisol levels across. Now even if he is aware, it does look like he doesn’t even to try to improve. From time to time, it feels like he’s treating the family as a punching bag. That’s also why my relationship with him is cool, not neutral, or warm.

Yes, this is me doing an audit of one of my family members. It’s part of how you can improve your life. If I take a step further, it means to excise the toxicity, which is hard to do when it comes to family.

Of course people can say that as family, we should work to improve each other. But then this is a traditional Chinese family, where the father is the head of the family and doesn’t like being challenged by underlings. If you challenge him, you get snapped at and suffer verbal abuse. I already had enough of that so in this case I think only his peers of roughly the same age can help. It’s just like how my friends helped me or mentored me.

Now I’m just making assumptions here, but I would think that it’s much easier for me to work with someone with Asperger’s or high-functioning autistism.

Anyway, that’s all for now.

Here I conclude my journal for today.

Daily Journal – Aug 9, 2017

This is my 125th journal.

Today is Singapore’s birthday. We are celebrating National Day today and it is a public holiday.

I woke up several times to use the toilet and that was pretty disruptive to my sleep. Blame it on my water intake the night before. But still, I think it was a pretty good sleep cause I dreamt a lot. Like a lot. I personally like dreams when I sleep because it shows me that my brain learnt or absorbed quite a lot of stuff during my day and it’s processing those information during my sleep.

After that I started up my MacBook and went about redoing the payment for my AWS account. Amazon sent me an email saying that the payment was successful.

You know what, I think I will keep the AWS account because I think I can play with it when I get enough work to earn enough to pay for it.

Then I went on to prepare the Latest Science Tidbits #2.

After that I watched Shooter (TV Series, Season 2) and some YouTube videos. I will be meeting my friend later for dinner tonight at 1730hrs.

We went to Tanjong Pagar to eat Bak Kut Teh.

After that we went to Holland Village to have some drinks at Starker.

Managed to finish the 2L drink. I did used the chance to talk about some ideas that I have but not easy to implement because of cultural, and resource issues and the solutions to those issues have yet been thoroughly thought out.

Also, during our chat, my friend reminded me of something. Different people has different kind of thing that makes them happy. Some is family. Some is money. Some is watch. Some is reaching certain purchase goal.

For me, I came to realize that my true happiness stems from stress-free environment. And please don’t say everyone loves to be stress-free because I know that’s not true. Some people are happy when they encounter challenges in their lives or work because they get to solve a problem.

So in order to to achieve stress-free I need to work for it. That means I need to put in the effort to get the things, create whatever plans, and implement whatever steps necessary.

To illustrate what I am talking about, I will pick inconvenience. It is a major stressor in my view. That’s why I went to get Apple products and enter the ecosystem. It has a lower inconvenience rate than Windows machine. I choose to eat at restaurants because I don’t like to deal with the chaotic scenes, or the inconvenience of looking for a seat and then queueing for my food in coffee shops and hawker centers. That’s also why I went with minimalism especially when it comes to clothes and material possession. The act of choosing what to wear is an inconvenience to me.

But that also means that I need a certain kind of income that will allow me to do what I have mentioned. Apple products don’t come cheap. Restaurants don’t come cheap. But that doesn’t mean I need to work 24/7 for the kind of money I’m looking for. Because with me adhering to minimalism, I already stop myself from buying unnecessary stuff that don’t add value to my life which in turn ncrease my happiness in any way.

Ok, back to what happened in my life. At around 2130, we are contemplating if want to go home earlier or continue drinking. After more drinking and talking, at around 2220hrs, we decided to call it a day and go home. My friend’s wife was with us and she looked bored. Not very nice to stay on. Beside, they both need to work while I don’t. Unless…well…I choose to go to my client’s office.

Boarded the train at Holland Village, then the west-bound train, and I managed to reach home at around 2319.

I don’t have anything else to update. So I think that’s all for now.

Here I conclude my journal for today.

Daily Journal – Jun 29, 2017

This is my 89th journal.

Another day gone and June will soon be over. July approaches and it marks the last month I will be with my current company.

I had a psychiatrist appointment today in the morning. So I worked from home from 0735 to 0850, preparing the test documents. Then had a shower, took my things and left the house.

Arriving early at the Polyclinic meant that I had to wait for nearly half an hour before it was my turn.

After the session, I went for brunch at Subway before making my way to office. While at Subway, after eating, I actually went on to read some emails and send out one. Earlier on, I had called the tester (there was supposed to be a SIT test today) to check if he’s available. He told me he’s not free. Well, luckily, I called if not it will be a wasted trip. The test got rescheduled to tomorrow. I guess I will call the tester again tomorrow before making my way there. Just had to make sure.

So I went back to office, print out the documents and join my colleagues for lunch. After that, one of my colleague and I made our way to the customer’s office at Paya Lebar to do some work. I had some test data to prepare as well as cleaning up some of the test users that I will be using. Also synced up with my colleague on what he has implemented as next week onwards, he won’t be around. By the time he comes back to work, it would have been my last day with the company…I think.

Anyway, I have also been in talks with my friends about a project that we will be working on together on part-time basis. For now, all I can say is that it will be an app. But what kind is it, I guess, we will have to wait until we complete our market research and product validation.

In the mean time, I will be going on for courses, taking on part-time and freelance work just so that I don’t starve to death. Full-time work that will take up my whole day (e.g. 8.30am to 6pm) just isn’t what I want now. I mean, it doesn’t allow me to do whatever I want or explore. By the time I finish work, I will be so tired that I can’t do my stuff or take my courses. And if I do force myself to take those courses and do my things…well…I can foresee that it will be back to square one. Then, I would have just wasted a whole bunch of money going into therapy. At least now, I have slightly pulled myself out of depression and feel happier. I definitely don’t want to go back in.

And I’m not here to meet or live up to anyone’s but my own expectations. You can provide advice or share your opinion but at the end of it, it’s my own life. I decide which path I want to go.

One more thing, if I do decide that I will be a freelance developer, I’m not going to cheapen myself. My rate will go anywhere between $50 to $150 per hour. Either clients in Singapore pay the rate that I ask for or they can outsource and get those low end, piss-poor quality developers from South Asia or SEA to do for you. If it is the latter, then I don’t even want you as a client. You can piss off.

Here I conclude my journal for today.