Why did I move to Singapore?

I fell in love with Singapore in 2015.

When I was in university, I discovered The Sam Willows online. They’re a Singaporean band and I really enjoyed their music. That led me to discovering more Singaporean music, like LEW, Disco Hue, Jasmine Sokko, Sezairi, Charlie Lim and M1LDL1FE. A lot of you know music is often my reason for learning a new language or for falling in love with a new culture. (Here’s my Singaporean playlist on Spotify, by the way) After YouTubing around, I also discovered Singlish (Singaporean English, which is mixed with lots of Malay, Tamil, Chinese, Hakka, Cantonese and Hokkien words). I thought it was the coolest concept ever. So multilingual and so versatile and expressive! I also started watching local Singaporean YouTubers and found the humor seriously hilarious. The more I watched Singaporean stuff, the more I fell in love with the language, accent and country.

After months of listening to a lot of Singaporean music and checking out the Singaporean design scene (online), I wanted to visit and see what the country would be like. At the start of my fourth year of university, I started casually looking for jobs and decided to visit some design agencies in Singapore on my way back from Japan in January 2016. I contacted some design agencies and arranged to visit their studios. My mom came with me and we had a short 5-day holiday.

To be brutally honest, it was not what I expected at all! The internet (and now, Crazy Rich Asians), makes Singapore seem like the most modern, clean, atas (Singlish for “posh”) city ever. In some areas, this is true. Marina Bay Sands is really as fancy as it seems online. However, overall, I found that Japan was a lot cleaner than Singapore! Some parts of Singapore reminded me of Pakistan too. I love hawker centers now (half-outdoor food courts with lots of different eateries, generally small stalls run by old people specializing in a specific dish or two), but the first time I saw a hawker center, I was put off by the smell of durian and fish. That being said, having lived in Pakistan for 3 and a half years, nothing scares me anymore! I think it was more of a “this is not what I expected” moment rather than it being a “this is gross” moment. I can’t get enough of hawker centers now!

My heart got broken in 2018.

That initial surprise, coupled with the humidity and constant rain at the time, somewhat put me off Singapore for a while. Until I met my (now-ex) boyfriend. He was Singaporean and before he became a terribly controlling, emotionally abusive person, I was absolutely swept off my feet by him. His Singaporean accent was the cutest thing ever, and I started having rosy feelings towards Singapore again. But then after I broke up with him, I didn’t want anything to do with Singapore anymore. I didn’t even want to hear the word Singapore, and I didn’t want to hear Singlish either!

At the end of 2018, everything changed.

GOD IS GOOD AND HE RESTORES! After prayer, therapy and serious logical thinking, I eventually got over my ex and started moving on with my life. Part of that process was also to move to a new country. I started applying for jobs in many different countries. Japan and Korea was where I set my eyes upon, but I also casually browsed job postings in Singapore.

Not having much hope (most job posts said “Singaporeans or Permanent Residents only”), I still took the plunge and applied for jobs in Singapore too. I was pleasantly surprised to land a Skype interview with a design consulting agency. The interview went exceptionally well. I’ve had my fair share of interviews, and some of them have been downright BAD. (Ripped pants? Been there. Forgetting the boss’s name? Yep. Stumbling over my bad Japanese? Lots of times). This time, we really clicked and had a great conversation, and then a second interview was scheduled.

At the end of the second interview, I was told that I got the job. Trying to keep my composure on the Skype call, I thanked them and said I would get back to them in a few days with my final decision (lol, like I even needed time to think). All the doors just started opening. I believe in the power of prayer, and how I know my prayers are being answered is not only the peace in my heart about something (if it feels bad it probably is bad, if it feels right it probably is right), but confirmation. Confirmation means people start agreeing with what you say, or people bring it up out of nowhere.

The week before I received the second job interview, I saw and heard Singapore EVERYWHERE. At the gym, someone was talking to their friend about Singapore. When I took my JLPT exam, someone wore a shirt that said I LOVE SINGAPORE on it. There was some piece of Singaporean news on the radio. And so forth. This kept happening, and I truly believe it’s God saying “Relax, I’m in control. You’ll go where I need you to be. Also, here are some big hints.”

And in 2019, I can call Singapore my new home

I started getting very excited about the idea of living in Singapore and my love for Singapore came back! It’s been a month since I moved here, and I cannot remember the last time in my life that I’ve been so incredibly happy. Every morning I wake up with wonder and gratitude that I’m living here. The people are friendly, the food is good, and the year-round summer is a dream for someone like me who hates winter.

More posts are coming soon about the logistics of my move, like how I got an apartment and what interesting cultural shocks I’ve experienced, so stay tuned!

Love,
Lindie

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Questions to ask yourself before 2019 starts

As we approach the end of the year and reflect on 2018, we also think ahead to the new year. I’ve compiled a list of questions to ask myself so I can prepare for 2019, and I thought I’d share them with you here too. These are personal to me and my faith, so feel free to leave some out if you’re asking yourself. Happy new year, friends!

01 | What kind of person do I want to become?
Reflect on how you perceive yourself and what others have said about you this year. Are you proud of it? What would you change? Is there anyone that inspires you that you want to be more like next year?

02 | What kind of people do I want in my life?
Surround yourself with people who bring the best out in you, who are healthy and driven, and people who you can lift up and celebrate too.

03 | How can I honour God and make Jesus known through my life?
As a Christian, this is what I live for. I want to work harder on bringing glory to God and not to myself. I wasn’t born to bring attention to myself, but I was born to share God’s love and glory with the world.

04 | What do I want to achieve in the field of design?
You can ask yourself this question specific to your field of work or study. It can be anything from entering/winning a competition to publishing a paper or learning more about a specific skill.

05 | What do I want to achieve in language study?
Self-explanatory for us language learners!

06 | Where do I want to go?
Near or far, travel feeds the soul! Since I’ll be moving to Singapore, it may be easier for me to travel to my beloved Asia now. That is, if I can fit it into my limited amount of work leave days! I took 23 leave days for granted here in South Africa. In Singapore, I’ll have 14 leave days. That being said, living in Singapore will probably feel like a long holiday in itself… I am so excited!

07 | Where can I work well with finances and invest wisely?
Set up a basic budget for yourself or get a financial planner.

08 | What can I cut out of my life?
Sugar? Toxic friends? Social media?

09 | What new habits can I bring into my life?
Mindfulness? Morning pages? A glass of lemon and honey water in the morning? Less TV? Calling grandma more?

10 | How can I make other people around me feel loved and special?
This will make you not only feel like you have a purpose, but bring people towards you because of your warmth and generosity. Start small – leave a warm comment on someone’s post, share someone’s story, talk to the person looking lonely, call your parents more, write a letter to someone you haven’t spoken to in a while, compliment someone on the bus…

11 | How can I be more humble and have more empathy?
Something I want to work on this year!

12 | How do I want to dress?
A fun one if you’re feeling ready to change up your look for the year. Check out my style board on Pinterest for my ideas! I’m also going to be making a capsule wardrobe before my move to Singapore so I can move with as little as possible.

12 | What unnecessary expenses can I cut down on?
Similar to the finance question above

13 | What negative characteristics do I want to change?
Do you complain or are you always late? Start small and don’t overwhelm yourself.

14 | What is my theme for the year?
My theme for 2018 was patience. My themes for 2019 are joy and giving.

Lots of love,
Lindie

Here’s a free printable if you want to ask yourself similar questions and have a bucket list for the year too!

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How I set up my planner for 2019

With 2019 around the corner, it’s time to sort out our lives for a fresh start. Have you been consistent in using a bullet journal or planner this year? I used 3 planners this year – each book is for 4 months. It was a great feeling to finish one and start afresh in another one! For this new year, I’m going a lot more minimal and simple with my planner.

Here are things I have in my planner:

  1. Goals for the year
    1. Categorized into faith, interpersonal, personal, health, languages and work
  2. Mood tracker for the year
    1. An arrow pointing up for a good day, straight line for an average day, and down arrow for a bad day
  3. Language log for each month
    1. I’ve selected a few languages to focus on. Each language is indicated by a color dot, and next to it I’ll indicate with a symbol whether that day was passive or active studying. I haven’t made this a year view because on one day I can learn more than one language, so it makes sense to do it monthly because there’s more space on the page.
  4. Habit tracker for each month
    1. Using symbols to indicate to myself what the habits are 🙂
  5. Monthly overview
    1. A simple calendar, with 15 days on the left of a line and 16 days on the right of a line.
  6. Weekly spreads
  7. Bible verses for each month
  8. Gratitude log for each month
  9. YouTube subscriber graph

Here’s a video of my journal-making process!

I’m using color very minimally – color for meaning.
Pink is used for things like the days of the week (next to the dates in black), or a small crown on 100,000 subscribers on YouTube, heh. Each language also has a color, as mentioned above.

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What I like about having your own planner that you create is the fluidity and openness to change. If I am not happy with my weekly spread one week, I have total freedom to change it the next week! Here’s my weekly spread for the first week of January. Usually, I like to have a full page a day, but we’ll see how this goes!

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If you’re a journaler or blogger who’s interested in bujos, please let me know in the comments so we can connect!

Happy new year in advance!

Love, Lindie

Why I’m OK after not getting my dream job in Korea

I applied for a job in Korea earlier this year. The company was my dream company and I was a fan of their work since my first year in university. When I read that they were hiring designers, I was elated. I was even more excited when I saw that they required applicants to be fluent in Korean (and not necessarily Korean by birth).

My portfolio and CV was tweaked and I spent lots of late nights working on the edits. I wanted to make sure my Korean was perfect and that my design work was a of a standard good enough for this company.

Before sending in my portfolio, I prayed that if this was not God’s will, I would not get the job. And if it were God’s will for me to move to Korea and work there, that He would make the way. I placed all my trust in Him and sent my work through.

As I somewhat expected, I didn’t get the job (the company didn’t reply to my email). But it’s okay! I know that if God wanted me to be in Korea right now, I would have been there. For now, I can rest in the peace that God’s plan or me is to stay here in South Africa and work hard at the wonderful company I’m at now. God’s timing is perfect and he knows the desires of our heart. More importantly, He know’s what’s best for us!

I can rest in Him and know that He has plans for my future. Right now is not the time for me to work overseas, and that’s totally fine. Now I can direct all my energy into fostering relationships with friends and coworkers here in South Africa. I can put my all into my work here. I can love my family and spend time with them in person. God has me right where he wants me to be.

Here’s the video about my application process and how I feel about it not working out. Press CC to activate English subtitles.

 

Why am I a Christian?

Why do I believe?

I’m a Christian because I have experienced God working in my life, doing miracles and helping me grow. I’m a Christian because I’ve spent hours on my knees in tears and in prayer calling out to God for the truth. Calling out to God to save me from things happening around me. Calling out to God to help me understand why things are happening. And every time, in His own unique way and timing (cause He sees the bigger picture – he’s outside of time, omnipotent and omnipresent), my prayers have been answered – not always in the way I want, but in the way that God ordained.

What’s an example of a miracle you’ve experienced?

I still believe in miracles. I grind my teeth at night so bad that I’ve broken a tooth before. So, I got a retainer a few months ago. In January 2019, I lost my retainer. I’d been packing for my move to Singapore and was worried I might have thrown my retainer out somehow.

Usually, I leave my retainer in my bed by accident. That was the first place I checked. I even moved my bed, swept the floor, washed and replaced my bedsheets… nothing.
On the second day of searching, I prayed and asked God to show me where it was. That night, I had a dream that my retainer was right next to my pillow on my bed. I woke up and it wasn’t there. Disappointed, I kept searching and yesterday I phoned the dentist to make an appointment for a new retainer. It would cost me R3500+ (around USD$350)

Two days later, as I was making my bed, there was my retainer, EXACTLY where I dreamt it was. It wasn’t there before and I’m 100% sure of that. I can’t explain this other than a miracle. So thankful to God for His providence!

God knows everything and can do anything

The Bible says in Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose” – this means all things WILL work out for the good – not “the way you want it to” but the way it needs to – by the all-knowing Creator who knows what’s best – all you need to do is love God and trust him. Faith is important – the Bible says to have faith like a child – that is unwavering and pure faith. When I have faith for God to do something in my life and He does miracles or makes things work out in the end, my belief and trust in Him grows.

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Things that bring me closer to God are plenty. I’m not a Christian because I blindly believe some doctrine my parents or church lead me to believe. I fully made the decision myself after many years of prayer and interaction with God. I guess you can say I’ve been a Christian my whole life but I gave my life to the Lord as a public declaration a few years ago and got baptized.

Questioning and doubting

I asked many questions and had many doubts. How do I know that I know that I know I’m believing the truth? I read the Bible to better understand His heart and His love for us. I pray because prayer is a conversation with God and not only a place where you can ask for things. I read theological books to better understand what’s written in the Bible and to see how other people find truth in it.

But why is there evil, hate, dishonesty and death in the world?

We live in a world where sin is real and human emotions, error and sin play a role. We cannot experience true happiness, joy and love if there wasn’t sin and darkness. You can’t have dark without light. You can’t have joy without sadness. These binaries need each other to exist. I’m not an expert on answering this question, but I like how Ravi Zacahrias answered it in this video. He says:

“If you’re asking God to stop the trigger, why not ask God to stop everything else? Next time you hold a cup of boiling water He makes it frozen water instead. Next time you’re about to cross the street and you’re going to be hit, he pulls your leg back. What you’re asking for is a different entity than humanity. As wonderful as it may seem that in stopping that, you think he’s protecting you from that what is destructive, the greatest denial that you’re asking for is the freedom of your will to be able to choose and to love God with all your heart.”

Is God/Christianity real?

If you’re interested in Christianity, I suggest you listen to some sermons by Ravi Zacharias or Timothy Keller or John Piper. They are apologetics. Apologetics is a branch of Christian theology that aims to present historical, reasoned, and evidential bases for Christianity, defending it against objections. (quoted from Wikipedia). So if it is scientifically and historically proved that the Bible is true and real, then the words in the Bible are true, and if I’ve seen what’s written in the Bible come true in my life too, you bet I believe it cause I’ve felt it!

John Piper has a great website called Desiring God and there are excellent articles that relate to modern life as well as Bible studies and so forth. Here’s the full list of topics – the articles aren’t very long so some are really good reads.

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I consider myself a very logical and rational person – I want all the facts and all the answers. Apologetics helps me understand Christianity as fact. How and when Jesus lived. Who he was. How many copies of the Bible there were and how accurate those copies were translated into different languages. Etc. There’s a wonderful book called More Than A Carpenter by Josh McDowell that helps us practically understand who Jesus really was and why he had to die to save us.

Are you wondering or doubting?

Apologetics like Ravi Zacharias also help answer difficult questions we have about life, like, why does God allow suffering if He is a loving God? Well, can we know joy and love without suffering? Can we know light without darkness? Can we know moral good without bad?

If you’ve got questions, why not try reading the Bible once to make out for yourself what you believe. You can start at the New Testament. The Bible is not really one book – it’s a collection of books and letters written over the span of centuries by many different authors. Also remember there are other books and texts written around the same time as those that also speak about Jesus, confirming what is written in the Bible. Be open to the concept of God – pray to Him. Ask Him if he is real, to show it to you. God always answers and hears prayers. We just need to open our eyes and learn to hear him.

If you’re open to it, you can go to a church service. Maybe you have a Christian friend who will be glad to take you so you can see what it’s like.

Feel free to chat to me if you have questions, I’d be happy to talk!

Love, Lindie