To a new chapter

It has been a while since I updated my personal blog. The last post was about my new blog on technology and technical content.

All my other blogs, including my Medium account, has seen nearly zero content. It is not because I have stopped writing. Rather, I have been focused on recovering from depression, reorientate myself and finding my passion for engineering again, specifically programming. Then I went about seeking new job opportunities, going for multiple interviews and trying to secure a job offer. It had been a challenging two months for me as I had to deal with one rejection after another.

All the interviews that I have been to and failed to secure a job offer have been blessings in disguise. I grew more confident with each one and was able to be myself even though I had some trouble answering some of the questions. But I did my best to demonstrate a good attitude and work ethic. I also did my best to show that I’m more than willing to share ideas and exchange insights.

The interviews gave me the chance to see what the market needs. As a result, I fully recognise that I do have a lot of gaps in my skillset and I’m more than willing to plug those gaps. I want to grow and be better.

And I am aware that I’m not growing in any meaningful way at my current employment. I also don’t want to deal with a toxic management that constantly make you feel worthless. I have my own psychological issues I need to work on, so I don’t need people to add salt to my pre-existing wounds. I also don’t want to be made obsolete so soon, especially in the tech industry.

Ultimately, I made it to a company that has an insane statistics in terms of how many people are selected for the final round and given an offer. You can count the number of people who are selected with your hands and maybe feet. And I passed it and secured an offer. I accepted it without second thought.

Right now, I’m really excited about starting my new role at this company next year. It was a love at first sight and I am fully aware there will be a hell lots of growing pain. I have to be ready to take them on since it is a place that I want to be at to grow and contribute.

New tech blog and post

I have launched a new blog to cover topics related to technology, software and other more technical stuff. It is to leave this blog free to host contents related to my personal growth, insights, feelings and fiction.

You can check the first post of the tech blog here. It is a technical article that introduce you to Microservices.

The clearing that lead into the light

The last two weeks saw me dedicating my time to serving the nation. Those two weeks being away from my job, be with friends who served with me during the two years of national service and doing light duty had allowed me to clear my head and helped raise my mood. Of course I won’t say it was a perfect streak. There were days when I had low mood, but with my friends around, I still felt better as compared to what I have gone through for the past four months.

That’s where the title of this entry came from. My head felt lighter and clearer. I’m less withdrawn too. In hindsight, this whole episode can be seen as part of my growing pains. Yes, there are antidepressant and therapy sessions involved but at least I’m proud that I didn’t take the easy and irresponsible way out. I saw that I had a problem and needed professional help. So I went to get it.

And I’m not going to compare myself with others. Everyone has got their own strengths and weakness. I’m not a genius, the fastest thinker around or the best performing employee of the year and I’m not going to proclaim to be any of those. I’m just going to focus on what I do best, be humble, develop more skills and bring them to the table to contribute in whatever way I can. Comparing is just a waste of time and being sensitive to the result of comparison is one of the few contributing factors that let me down this dark path. Right now, all I ask is people giving me the space and opportunity to learn and grow at my own pace.

Another good thing that came out of those two weeks was that I started a new writing project, which to me is a major win considering how worthless and useless I felt just a few weeks ago. Every setback was really painful for me then. And this time, instead of jumping straight into writing, I went the route of outlining and planning out my approach. Some lessons had to be learnt from jumping straight into a project without some sort of a plan and then failing not just once but several times over the years.

At first, I did it with pen and paper. Then I typed out the outlines and plan onto Apple Note. I’m still in the process of digitising the rest of the content. And when I do have some additional ideas, I will pen it down on paper first. Overall, this project is kind of like a phoenix rising from ashes because it is based on the previous project that I scrapped two months ago because I felt the story was heading in the wrong direction. The theme remained the same while changes were made to the characters and settings.

I’m also trying produce more useful, technical contents based on my professional experience. This, I believe, is a good way for me to communicate what I’ve learnt and in turn help others. Previously, I mentioned that I volunteered some of my time to write technical articles for a company. The process was enjoyable and I’d like to continue that for other companies too. I’m on a look out for such opportunity and will get in touch if I find that I can contribute in a meaningful way.

Lastly, I was officially requested to help out in another project so that the official deployment/rollout end of November can be as smooth as possible. There were enhancement and modification to be made for a specific module before the rollout. And I am the best person to do it because I was the one who designed, developed and supported that module since that project’s inception. Now, it’s all about clearing that last mile and seeing it through.

The house by the sea

Just imagine this.

You live in a house, built out of bamboo and wood, out by the sea. It sat on top of wooden pillars that served as the house’s foundation. They were hammered into the sea bed with the top of the pillars jutting above the sea as though they are struggling for air. But all is good. You got a house to live in and you are out here by the sea, enjoying what nature’s got to offer you.

Then, environment effects attacked the house and its foundation, eating away pieces of wood and bamboo. Years went by. Decades went by. Holes began to appear along the house walls and sections started falling apart. Simultaneously, the house is wobbly and sinking centimetres every year due to weakened foundation. The sea bed in which the pillars stood had grown soft and unable to support the weight of the house.

But it’s your house and you can’t move. You refuse to let it fall apart. And so, you went to work to patch up the house. Every day without fail, you are fixing something. You knew it’s going to be a life long work.

Sadly, that’s not the only thing you have to deal with. You live with bad neighbours. Every time you patch up a section of your house, your neighbours come along and throw rocks at your house causing further damage. And you just keep patching.

And one day, you slipped and hurt yourself so badly that you almost couldn’t move. The pain was unbearable. Yet, you still keep going. You don’t really have a choice. Your house is falling apart, allowing the elements in. You are either wet, cold or too hot. The house can’t keep you in a goldilocks state.

So you work even though the world is against you.

Songs that communicate my feelings and thoughts

As I spent the day working on my personal projects, interacting with friends and applying for new jobs, I had to navigate through the emotional roller coaster due to certain triggers that led to flashbacks. Below are some songs that best communicate how I am feeling. Antidepressant made things a little easier for me to manage but low mood sometimes do popup.

Linkin Park – Heavy

Kodaline – Brother (Cover by Samuel Di Leo)

Linkin Park – One More Light