How Pretending to Know Stuff Can Actually Work

How do you actually convince people that you actually know stuff and that yours is the best?
Confidence.

Time and time again, I can honestly say that I have pretended my way through a lot of things that people now praise me for. Deep down, only I know that I actually know the mere basics of a person who Google-d the crap out of that subject the night before.

The reason why this topic surfaced now when I’ve had this topic in my head for quite some time now is because of a recent assignment & presentation I had to do in class about 2 weeks back.

As I’ve mentioned before, I am pursuing my degree in Actuarial Science and this subject requires a team effort to design an insurance/takaful product that will rival those already available here in Malaysia.

Now, every other group chose insurance with some pretty interesting content (unemployment, flood, health insurances) & very convincing prices, but were pretty complicated to understand in terms of their structure and benefits.

Our group decided to go takaful, and there aren’t many microtakafuls here either. So we did just that. A very straightforward personal accident plan like microtakaful. If you don’t know what takaful/microtakaful is, it’s just like an ordinary insurance plan that adheres to the Islamic Shariah law in terms of its monetary structure.

So we presented our plan, where in my group of 5 members, 4 of us had a strong English command. I don’t mean to boast, but I’d say that in this class of 40 people, my English is probably in the top 5. So I Google-d my way into understanding our product and presented it in a way where I looked like a know-it-all asshole *hah* and at the end of all the presentations, my lecturer asked the class who’s product would you choose to purchase of all, and about 4/5 of the responses mentioned our product including the lecturer herself.

I gotta say, I’m actually quite proud. Despite our content not being the best of the rest, all we did was to keep it simple and present the sh*t out of it and got away being at the top.

And this isn’t the first time either.

My conclusion is, be confident and believe in your own idea. Convince yourself before you convince others, because how do you expect other people to purchase something you’re not willing to pay for.

It also helps to be good at the language that is professionally dominant in your area. Like in my situation, the workplace environment here requires  English as the official documentation & communication but most of the time, Chinese and Malay is used when talking to coworkers. So much that my strength in the English language & weakness in the Chinese language deters those who are weak in English to even ask/talk to me. Which sucks because I’m perfectly alright if your command in English is weak. I mean, have you heard me in Mandarin? You’d have a hard time keeping your laugh down.

Perception

About two weeks ago, I made a spontaneous (but planned a long time ago) decision to chop off a large portion of my hair.

Most of my life I’ve had long hair, how I define long hair would be; if you can tie it up in a ponytail, it’s long hair. So I’ve always had long hair since i could remember, of course there’s the occasional trim every half yearly but it usually would grow faster than I’d like it  to. The reason why I kept long hair, although I’ve always preferred short hair was because of my mother. Whenever I’d go for my half yearly haircuts, I’d try my hand at asking if I could chop off to a shorter do and somehow she’d weasel her idea of me having long hair in. I, not wanting to piss my mom off for the day, gave in. So for more than 10 years, I pretty much look the same with the same hairstyle, varying just a little bit.

Now when I’ve finally gone from this,

IMG-20150827-WA0030  to this  2016-01-19 18.17.13-2,

I find that I have two very distinctive opinions from two different parts of my life.

The two opinions are of course a yay and a nay.
The two sides are; my friends and family.

Meeting my friends here and there for two weeks and I get comments that short hair suits me and my personality better than long hair. Of course, there’s the occasional “Wow, how are you so willing to cut off all that hair?!”. Well, I’m that person who believes that hair WILL grow back fast when you’re still young (if you do not have any conditions that prevent hair growth). So I’m not scared about losing my hair entirely even if I shaved my head bald. In fact, that’d be kind of a thrill to do actually😛

Meeting my family, however, I get some “yay-ish” comments but mainly mumbled comments that pretty much says they’d preferred me in long hair. I even had one aunt exclaiming on my social media asking me WHYYYY I cut off my long hair.

My point is, I feel like my family still has the perception that since I am a girl, I must have long hair. They even mentioned once that short hair on girls just looks like a tomboy and will be able to find a boyfriend/husband in the future. *sighhh* They can really be such a traditional-ist when it comes to marriage, relationships, asthetics; although I know that they are pretty modern when it comes to everything else in the world. In a way, they refuse to accept that I’m not a girly-girl. My family relentlessly tries to make me wear a skirt or dress although I have told them every time that I prefer not to wear them. I have nothing against skirts and dresses, it’s just not my style. But to them, they don’t care what’s my style, they just want me to wear something girly.

On the other hand, people outside of my family circle know that I’m the type of person who id not a girly-girl but not exactly tomboy either, I’m sort of in between here and there. I mean, that’s my personality and character and I guess that’s why they agree with me having a shorter hairdo. Seems like my friends are the ones who know the true me, or my friends are the ones who accept the true me.

All in all though, I know my family is still my family. I’ll just have to put on a thick face, nod and ignore when necessary, and still be myself.

A Letter To The Girl I Can’t Bring Myself To Confess To

First off, I would respect your decision should you not have any interest in the same gender. I’d understand that you may be a straight heterosexual female but I can’t not try.

We’ve only known each other for just over half a year and really, I just cannot seem to help but wonder if there could be more for us. We met purely for future project coworkers purposes and now we’re pretty good friends. Over the course of working with you, I can’t help but like you even more. There’s just something about the way you talk, the way you can handle your work and be as cheerful as you are. Just pretty much, the way you are.

What I want to do may jeopardise this friendship we have. If I were to confess what I feel for you and you do not feel even the slightest bit the same, I could lose you entirely. Gosh, the thought of you avoiding me isn’t a pleasant one.

To be frank, I do not know how to even begin to approach this subject with you. In fact, I don’t even know how to approach any girl for anything more than friends in this place. Despite all the LGBT support there are in the world right now, there just isn’t much in this country. I know there are still plenty of traditional minded and anti-homosexual people here. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not ashamed of who I am but I am just not ready to receive the brunt force and stereotypical criticisms just yet. But you know what, if I were with you, I’d do it. If you were by my side, I think I would be willing to fully come out of the closet to people that matter in my life.

Thus, the reason the why I decided to write this down. I feel the need to put these thoughts somewhere. I am perfectly aware that you may never ever see this but that’s okay. Sometimes writing stuff down helps, so that’s what I will do for now.

New Year, New Perspective

Aaaaand another year arrives.

Happy New Year!

I have to say, I’ve got a good feeling about this coming year. I think it’s gonna be a good, albeit tough, year. 2016 will be the year I’m going to graduate from university and be an unemployed person until I get a job! Then probably get a job, and not like the work like I’ve only done before. I’m gonna be a permanent employee like and not just an intern. Man, the intern life was pretty fun. You get to do less work, people don’t assume you know everything and actually teach you stuff, people are surprised when you do actually know things and then you get paid (very little).

But then again, I kinda want to get away for a month or two on a holiday. It’s been about four years since I last had a holiday more than 2 weeks. I’d really want to go on a getaway either on my own or with a friend.

2016 will also be the year I’m gonna fully embrace myself as who I am. The past year, I spent it coming to terms with being bisexual, figuring things out and trying to see where I would go with this. I spent a lot of time thinking of what it would be like being an openly bisexual person in this country (Malaysia) because the LGBT community isn’t very strong here. Yes, gay marriage became legal in the US and it sparked conversations over here but I’m sure there are PLENTY of traditional and close-minded people here. That kinda barriers me from coming out of the closet. I know I shouldn’t care about what others think of me and that I should just be who I am but I’m not ready to be openly critised because of my sexuality just yet. I know I will be one day, but today’s not that day.

A lot of my coming to terms with who I am is because of the many LGBT YouTubers I’ve come to discover. If you are a person struggling with coming to terms with your sexuality and coming out of the closet, I’d recommend watching the various YouTube videos about LGBT topics by the LGBT community. I really have to thank Hannah Hart (myharto), Stephanie Frosch (ellosteph), Arielle Scarcella (Arielle Scarcella), Rose and Rosie (RoseEllenDix and TheRoxetera) as well as many other YouTubers who address LGBT topics and make it okay to be who I am. In their own creative, funny and real life situations, I can relate so much to how I feel on the inside and have them answer and reassure me that I am alright and not alone.

In 2016, I’m going to be a better version of myself.
Now, I don’t believe in New Year’s resolutions.
I believe in Resolutions.
If I want to start to do something differently, I’d do it. I’ll probably do it the next day but I won’t wait until it is the 1st of January of the next year. I believe that resolutions, targets, goals and ambitions should be done at any time of the year.

Let’s be real, New Year’s resolutions are just never gonna get completed unless it is your true passion. If your New Year’s resolution is to eat healthier/lose weight/go on a diet, you’re probably gonna completely forget about it by the next week unless you already have been doing this all this while.

Nonetheless, I hope you do achieve your resolutions by December 31st, 2016. If not, there’s always next year😉

Yet Another One

It’s almost two months since I’ve been interning at this company (a rather large company in this country, I might add) and I have this tiny BIG crush on someone I barely even know.

I’ve only ever spoken to her maybe twice or thrice but that was because my supervisor asked me for help to get her some stuff from our unit. She’s working at another unit (but under the same department), on the same floor but on opposite ends of the floor. Well, I’m not sure exactly where but it’s the other door.

I first saw her walking along the hallway of our floor towards the ladies washroom. There’s only one washroom on each floor btw. I thought she was pretty cute. Then on and off again I would see her, passing by and in elevators but never spoke to her.

Then one day, my supervisor told me someone would be coming over to our department to collect something, so she asked me to get it from the cabinet. When my supervisor said that person is here, I looked to see who just walked in through the door and there she was. Goddamn. It’s just like in the movies.

So as I helped her get that thing from the cabinet, we introduced ourselves. Then she thanked me and left.
It is at this point where I was pretty speechless, in the did-that-just-happen state of mind.

Then the next week, I had to collect that thing again to pass to her and she would return it later. So i got to see her twice that day. After that, it was done. No more. Didn’t have to pass her anything anymore. Which means, no reason to see her any more. I think that she thinks she’s troubling me for specifically going to get it for her, but really I would do it every day for the rest of my internship just to see her.

Technically I barely know her. I don’t know if she’s in any relationship, or if she’s interested in guys or girls. All I know is her name and that she works in that unit. I don’t know why but there’s just something about her that I like. But I don’t want to come off as too much when I barely know her. If I do have to the chance to get to know her, then only I will act upon this crush.

Damn I hate it when this happens. Definitely not the first time. Usually, in the end, nothing really happens and my crush on that person just subsides…

Farewell CSI

Even though I did not watch the last couple of seasons of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, or as I commonly refer to as CSI: Las Vegas since there’s CSI: New York, CSI: Miami and CSI: Cyber as well; I will always say that CSI: LV was the very first crime drama series I ever watch and fell in love with.

Since CSI: LV, I have then moved on to 50 other crime drama series which ultimately led me to Castle which is my favourite ever. I remember back in 2002, when I was 8 years old, CSI:LV Season 2 was playing on my local television channel. Technically, 2002 would have been Season 3 but in my country back then, it would only air the season after it had ended in the US. I watched an episode with my parents and found it very interesting despite me asking tons of questions to my mom trying to understand a lot of the law and laboratory terms. So week after week I would watch and sooner or later, I got the hang of it and would catch the show on TV religiously. I was hooked. I fell in love with Gil Grissom, Catherine Willows, Nick Stokes, Sara Sidle, Warrick Brown, Jim Brass and had a HUGE crush on Greg Sanders.

The entire (sort of) original team!

The entire (sort of) original team!

Then CSI: Miami and CSI: New York came along and I also got hooked onto to them. I would make sure that every week I had my dosage of Gil Grissom & team, Mac Taylor & team and Horatio Caine & team. Of course, there were other TV shows I would watch on the side but the CSI series was my first step to my downward spiral of TV crime dramas that I currently am still having. Not that I’m complaining.😛

So now, I finally watched the very last episode of CSI: LV which aired last week (September 27th) and I have to say, it was such a trip down memory lane. It felt so much like the first couple of seasons and I LOVED IT. The gang was back together (minus Nick and Warrick) and I am so happy about the ending!

*SPOILER ALERT*

GIL AND SARA!
*squeals*

Gil and Sara had gone through too much together and I am so happy that they got back together. One very vivid case that stuck with me all through these years was the Miniature Killer. This criminal would taunt Grissom by recreating the crime scene onto a small dollhouse-like setting, mail it to Grissom, then stage it in real life for them to find it after. It was one of those catch-me-if-you-can-before-I-kill-another cases but the Miniature Killer definitely freaked me out back then. Then the killer went one step further and kidnapped Sara and placed her under a crushed car, trapping her in muddy rain with waters slowly rising and threatening to suffocate her and Grissom literally found her just in time. Phew! Just thinking back to that scene is intense!

Sara and Gil <3

Sara and Gil❤

Back to this series finale, all the scenes where Sara and Gil met each other for the first time in a long time, the time in the lab together, the bee experiment together and finally the ending when they met on the boat with Gil being so pleasantly surprised that she was there and then sail off into the sunset… ahhh… *swoons*

The series finale BTS photo

The series finale BTS photo

Another thing that was super nice was when Catherine came back! And Lindsey, her daughter who used to be such a rebellious kid, now a CSI Level 1! Also, Lady Heather was pretty much the entire case! I guess it’s fitting they’d bring Lady Heather back. Since this show started off with Grissom, it would only make sense to end it with Grissom and Lady Heather was such a big recurring character arc to Grissom. Onto my favourite, Greg, there definitely wasn’t enough screen time for Greg in the finale. It would have also been nice to have Nick back too but since he had just left the team, it would be such a cheap shot just to bring him back for one last episode. Kudos to the writers of this series finale, it was a well worth episode.

*End of Spoilers*

I do have to admit that I stopped watching CSI: LV after Grissom left. I watched a season or two when Langston replaced Grissom then stopped, when DB Russell came in, I watched a couple of episodes and eventually stopped. I am not criticizing them but I guess at that time, I was very much preoccupied with other TV shows and CSI: LV did not have much appeal to me anymore.

Speaking of TV crime dramas I used to watch, I just realized how many shows I used to watch that were cancelled or ended and I had totally forgotten. Do you remember:

  • Monk (2002)
  • John Doe (2002)
  • Without a Trace (2002)
  • Nip/Tuck (2003)
  • Killer Instinct (2005)
  • Las Vegas (2003)
  • Numbers (2005)
  • The Shield (2002)
  • Kidnapped (2006)
  • Burn Notice (2007)
  • Leverage (2008)
  • The Mentalist (2008)

Well, I wouldn’t say that I’ve watched every episode of these shows but I certainly did watch a fair amount that I knew what it was about.

Well, I guess this is it.
This is goodbye, LVPD.
Thank you for introducing me to the whole Forensics, police procedural and law abiding TV series that has kept me entertained for the past 13 years of my life.

Looking Back

So this has been on my mind for the past two weeks or so and I kind of want to write about it.

I was thinking back to the first time I may have had a crush for a girl. As far as I can remember, I was thirteen and had just started secondary school (aka high school). A couple of friends in my class were friends with some seniors, who were a year older, and they would hang around in our class during break time. That was when I got to know them too. Slowly and over time, I found myself preferring to talk to one particular senior over the rest.

It wasn’t like I was in love with her or anything. It was more of a harmless crush as I found her very interesting and pretty. I just wanted to be her friend and get to know her more and that was it.

Then as time went by, we were just friends and would small talk one in awhile and then I got distracted by a stream of boys I got to know after. A very frustrating time, I would say because I never acted on these boy crushes I had.

Fast forward to 2010, I discovered Castle and the amazing and stunning Stana Katic among other amazing actors and actresses, but none quite like Stana. These feelings I had for Stana was a such a range of emotions, everything from I-wanna-be-like-her to I-wanna-be-with-her.

I would say that this is probably the first time I’d acknowledge the possibility of being lesbian. However, I never gave it much of a thought and kept on obsessing over how gorgeous and amazing Stana is. Of course, over the years I’ve found myself also obsessing over other actresses such as Paget Brewster, Cote de Pablo, Daniela Ruah, Anna Kendrick, Jennifer Lawrence and Julia Roberts but again, nothing quite like my love for Stana.

The next phase of my journey so far would be when I finally gave this feelings I had for women a long, deep thought. That would be when I discovered Arrow and the characters played by Katrina Law and Caity Lotz back in early 2015. You can read more of that in my previous post.

After some deep thinking, I finally accepted myself as a bisexual a couple of months back. The label may be bisexual but the way I see it would be as if there were a spectrum. One end would be solely heterosexual (let’s assume the number is 0) and the other would be solely homosexual (the number would be 10), I would say that I am somewhere at number 7.5 where I have interests in both men and women but a bit more on women at this moment in my life. This could change in time, because we go through life, we learn new things and we meet new people. I can’t say that I’ll always be in this position on that spectrum for the rest of my life because…well, people change.

That’s pretty much it for now. I guess coming to terms with it makes me think back and ask myself when did I actually find out my sexuality and how did it come about? So that’s my (very brief) story.:)

The Pressure of Finding a Partner in Life

…and it’s not even coming from me!

Oh the struggle is real…

I am 21 years old and I have schoolmates that are the same age as I am who are already engaged or married. Those that aren’t, are in a serious relationship. Well, of course not all of them but I’m talking about the people around me. My friends, people that I still keep in touch with and those that occasionally pop up on my Facebook newsfeed.

Honestly, I’m happy for them. They’ve found someone they love and they want to be married, that’s great! I have absolutely no problems with young marriage. Also, it does not matter what I think about, it is after all, their life and their decisions.

My problem is the pressure I get from my family. Especially the women side, I’m talking about my mother, sister, aunt, other aunts, more aunts and grandmother. On a normal average day, they’d casually drop the “So, do you have a boyfriend?” question, or if they’re feeling really bored, it’s the “Why don’t you have a boyfriend?” question. Then I usually shrug it off and say no, end of conversation.

Now, what I’ve learnt is that I shouldn’t ever mention any of my friends getting engaged or married to the whole lot of them. I did a rookie mistake, I just happened to scroll down my Facebook newsfeed and saw a schoolmate’s marriage photos and told my mother in front of the aunts. Then BAM! the onslaught of comments fell upon me;

“You see, people your age are getting married and you don’t even have a boyfriend”
“What about you?”
“When’s your turn?”
“Do you secretly have a boyfriend that we don’t know about?”
“Yeah, I think she has one and she doesn’t want to tell us.”
“So, who is your boyfriend?”
“What’s his name?”
“Show us pictures!”
*sigh*

Is it so bad to not want a partner right now?
Must I purposely and desperately find someone to be happy?
What if I truly am happy right now in this position being single?

Then again, they do not know about the whole bisexuality thing that I’m still sorting out with. They just assume I’m straight. I can’t blame them for assuming that, but I just want them to stop pressuring me into finding a guy to be with just for the sake of having a partner. I want to date that person because I truly love and adore him/her and if it takes me years until I find that person, so be it. I would rather stay single than to date the wrong person only to miss the opportunity to be with the right person.

Now it may seem as if I’m scared to date the wrong person. I don’t mean it that way. My preferences and conditions are simple, if I can tolerate and love that person wholly and he/she can do the same with me, I will. What I mean by tolerate is that I am okay with the things that we don’t have in common or don’t agree upon, something like the ‘agree to disagree’ situation. So I’m not going to date anybody just to show the world that I’m the girlfriend material.

As for my sexuality preference, I think I’ve established this in my last post but I’ll say it again. I am still unsure of who I am but I do know this: I am attracted to men as well as women. It could just be a phase that I’m going through or I could really be bisexual. The only way (that I can think of) to know whether I’m straight or bisexual is if I were to find a girlfriend and really got through with it. This means, if I found a woman whom I truly love then I am bisexual and if I don’t, I really wouldn’t know for sure.

And mark my words, I am in no rush or desperation to find a partner.

Yes, a partner in life would be nice and fun and amazing but I feel like it’s not my top priority right now. However, if I do find someone in life, I will make her/him my top priority. I guess I would like to find love when it’s least unexpected.

Asking Someone Out These Days

Remember the days when a guy wanted to get to know a girl, he’d do all sorts of tricks and charm to get her number?
Yeah, well, what happened to that?

Today it’s all: guy meets girl, guy chats a little, guy hands over his Facebook/Twitter/WeChat username, guy asks girl to add him.

I guess in a way, it’s better than having the girl say no and reject him on the spot. It gives her time to think it through whether she wants to get to know him. Then again, it’s very ungentleman-like. Because it would the girl who has to add/call him up first.

Call me old fashioned but I’d prefer if the guy asks for the phone number, then the girl can decide whether she should give him the actual number or fake one (if she doesn’t really want anything to do with him), then the guy is the one who calls (not text!) and initiates the asking out part.

Yes, I’m all for strong, independent women who can ask a guy out. But where’s the romance in being pursued by a guy? *swoons*

Then there’s the social media thing! Really though? Not phone numbers anymore? Kinda disappointed there. I understand that it’s a precaution, giving out your social media instead of phone number because you can block that username much easier than blocking a phone number (right?), but it’s also sending a message that there’s not seriousness or commitment if it’s via social media. It’s as if it’s just for fun. Like it’s a game of who can get the most followers or friends. The more followers and friends, the better!

In the end, there are pros and cons with these new age things (social media). However, I’m quite old fashioned when it comes to the game of love and relationships.

The reason I ranted on this topic is because I was asked to add this guy (a cashier at a shop) on social media after we talked for a bit. I haven’t and I don’t think I would. Sorry cashier guy!

Reality Check

Every semester, in the study-break week before my final examinations, there will be a day where I sit and ponder about my life and where it is heading. Then I will start to worry my socks off about whether I will actually make it to where I want to be in the next five to ten years.

Today is that day.

I just can’t help but to feel like I’m not doing enough to make sure I get to where I want to be. I tell myself to go ahead and pick up that book to study for that exam, but then I start to think what if I fail in this exam? What will happen? Am I in the right field of study? Do I actually want to do this as my career? What if this isn’t what I’m good at? What if I’m actually good at something else but totally ignoring it?

Yes, I do love this field of study. I am very much interested in it and I want to do this. I know I’m not the best at it. I have course mates who just get it the first time they listen to it in class or understand completely just by reading the text book once. I’m not that. I need to go through it a couple of times, I need to ask them for their explanation, I need more time to study the same thing. But hey, at least I’m trying, right? I do have other interests and I also want to do that, but not as my career. I want to do those as a side hobby.

However, there is an interest in those hobbies of mine. And what if those hobbies are actually what I’m really good at and I can make a career out of it? Like, a better career than what I’m actually pursuing now.

I know this is all very vague and you have no idea what I’m talking about, this field of study and hobbies. I don’t want to go into specifics because then I will have to explain so much more. I’m keeping it general so if you can relate, we can sit and worry together. Or… we could talk about it and possibly solve this horrible day of mine I get every semester.

I guess in a way, this recurring day I get is sort of a reality check for me, a little reminder to sit and check in on whether I’m on the right path.