Monday, February 23, 2015

“Only those who attempt the absurd can achieve the impossible.” 

― Albert Einstein

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

2 D Y N A M I T E Y E A R S

A sleep away and it's my 2nd year with TNT.

Workplace success requires a deep understanding of how the organization functions, where the political landmines exist, how decisions are made, the standards and the expectations of leadership – just to name a few. There's no 10 Golden Rules to follow when you go on board in a company. It's a huge national park where you can get lost in, meet new people, see beautiful views, hit some hard rocks along the journey, and occasional spotting of rare and gorgeous animals, hitch hike with amazing souls that will show you around without any bad intentions, and of course, there's a tendency as well that lightning might hit your tent/ a lion might appear and steal all your food supplies.

Living life is about examining life through reason, nature’s greatest gift to humanity. The importance of reason in sensing and examining life is evident in all phases of life– from the infant who strains to explore its new surroundings to the grandparent who actively reads and assesses the headlines of the daily paper or deciphering the end to a hokkien drama series. Reason lets human beings participate in life, to be human is to think, appraise, and explore the world, discovering new things in between.

‪#‎tntjourney‬ has garnered many tweets and pictures hashtags to date, and I go to bed tonight, with a smile and a pat on my back, for the strides I've taken, and at the same time, psyching myself up for the future mountains to conquer.

"What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us." 
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

18 months | In Renee's shoe


Couldn't possibly find a more apt picture to depict my 18 months in the Dynamite company that I'm currently working at - TNT! #thisisit 
(Please ignore my overly enthusiastic face that also puts many Asian to shame)

There are days where it feels like you’re a superhero, fighting battles, combating evil customers, resisting public accreditation to stay humble and rooted, standing up for what's right even if the crowd feels otherwise, falling down, gaining bruises along the journey to a victory that you may not necessarily enjoy. There are also days where you just want to rest the cape and mask, not worry about anything at all and hope that the world will be perfect.

Well, snap. Back to reality.

Happy 18th month to me! I know it’s not the BIGGEST milestone when there are people celebrating their silver jubilee/ receiving award recognition for a 5 years tenure/ 20 years and so on but yes, every month feels like it's worth popping a champagne for a hyper person like me!

It’s not that I am counting down the days to something. It’s just that we, or rather, me speaking as a Gen Y, I’m still figuring my way through this fresh, brand new, foreign world we call – THE CORPORATE WORLD.

Presenting to you, Renee’s Perfect 10 Corporate breakthroughs/ findings: -
This is all my own words and opinions and in no way relating to any negative part of the organisation that I am currently in. Take it all with a pinch of salt!

1. There will always be policies, work etiquette, cultures, KPIs in a MNC or corporate. 
We can try to comprehend and absorb in like a sponge but this is also the part where we all need to start behaving like adults and know where the boundaries are, how to respond to different situations, crisis management skills that were never significant life, is suddenly applicable. A very strong heart and at times poker face to suck it up and accept things at it is – You can’t change everything as if it’s your Lego world anymore,it's a Lego world with a manual, and also many other creators. Of course, don't lose your authenticity and creativity!

2. It is often a struggle to punch in those hours when we were enjoying flexi lecture sessions and study breaks almost every other month back in our student days. There are high days and somewhat low/suckier days in the working life where during those lower days, you will suddenly feel like you’re like a magnet to everything horrible and absolutely random. Yea, it’s days like that where I go #onlyhappenstorenee (Don't get me started with that hashtag!)

3. You don't get to choose the people you work with.
It's not a university assignment where you get to pick your group mates based on their looks or your super perception/assumption that they are smart and hopefully hardworking too. 
Your circle of friends will most certainly expand when you place all shields of judgement and pride DOWN, and begin to accept everyone for who they are.  You’ll be surprised to find yourself more diverse and interesting as you’re not just flocking with birds of the same feather, you are with EVERY and ANY bird in the sky and you’ve suddenly gained extra cool flying styles and cuckoo tone.

4. Getting that extra one minute sleep can make/ break your Monday.

5. Comments and criticism would only cease to exist the day you quit improving yourself.
We sometimes underestimate what we each can do to make things happen and overestimate what others need to do to move us forward. We MUST break this thought or we would always be pointing fingers and not making any changes due to our foolish mind-set.

6. Be YOU. Don't lose YOU.
Experience can be gained through input of knowledge and years of working, but your values and principles is what makes you, YOU. Don’t let the company define you with a job title, or attitude. Know yourself and stand for what you believe in. Don't change yourself to be liked. If you're a honey, you're a honey. If you're a bitter gourd  don't apply honey over it and expect people to be fooled by your outward appearance..they'll find out soon enough what's the REAL you.

7. Appreciation and Gratitude.
Smile and say thank you even when a waiter pours you water and accidentally spills some on your favourite top. We are human after all, we make mistakes and it is not easy to serve and please EVERYONE. I’ve faced some nasty customers that demands attention for every teeny weeny thing, complains about absolutely everything and sucks up all my positive energy I’ve charged up over the night. Please, we are not a puppet or furby toy where you huff and rant to. We have F-E-E-L-I-N-G-S, so please be nice. Even to your colleagues and managers, gratitude goes a long way.

8. Find a reason to wake up for each day.
There’s never a perfect job or perfect company but you need to find that light to keep you walking through the dark tunnel, or else you’ll just give up and shut off, without a happy ending at the end of the road (with fireworks, loved ones to greet you and cheer you on, prince charming to whisk you off in a hot air balloon…you get my point).
Figuring out what we really want is both a science and an art. It’s possible, but not easy; It’s solvable, but not for the faint of heart. Like everything else in life, it takes practice, but the answers exist so long as we make the concerted effort to chase them.

9. Don’t worry, allow yourself to be a child.
Life is simple if we allow it to be and allow ourselves to have more childlike naive-ness and innocense in us and see goodness in everything and not let our adult glasses pollute things. Oh ya, breakdown, cry. It's healthy to do so every once in awhile. #justsaying
Set your priorities right (God, Family, Friends, Passion, etc), and everything will fall into place perfectly.

10. Never say never. And keep the dreams alive.

I ain't no thoughts catalog writer, but I am expressive in my own ways, and writes to my own liking. 
It has been a roller coaster ride and I am growing every day in this fast-paced and challenging industry where there is never a day where you can say I-KNOW-IT-ALL. It feels good to have those *pat-in-the-back moments from random strangers, security guards, customers and of course colleagues that pushes me to go a lil further, hang in there a lil longer :) 



Thursday, January 2, 2014

Ola, 2014

We greet each new year as if the best present for the year is about to be ours. We don't know what is inside the prettily wrapped box, neither do we know how are we gonna react when the box is opened when the gift unveils from the box, neither do we know if it's gonna be practical and useful, or even fabulous. The excitement and anticipation, the hype about a new year, simply signifies that we all still have that kid in us, to be excited and simply, celebrate.


I'm always the kind that will do the long 'reflection' on the past and take time to embrace myself with an overwhelming sense of gratitude.

2013 was certainly an interesting piece. I admit that I'm still categorized under the Gen Y category and have no rights to complain about ageing but it hits me once in awhile that hey, I am growing old (er). They say with the years, you'll gain experiences. We do learn from experiences and may not make the same mistakes again, but there is a whole new pickle jar of fresh ones just lying in waiting for us to trip and fall info it. Well, don't beat yourself up for those new mistakes. Think back, after awhile, it might even topped one of the video entries for 'America's funniest videos! HAHAHA. Ok. I exaggerated but you get the point.

"Wisdom isn't about not making mistakes but about learning to escape afterwards with our dignity and sanity intact."

I Bungy jumped (still oozing with pride!) visited new countries, and made many new friends. I achieved new milestones in life and conquered new mountains. I saved and I splurged. I cried I laughed. And simply appreciate more things in life :)

We set new resolutions. We make new plans each year. But sometimes it's so easy to slip and forget to NOT live in the future but to live in the present.
Since I started working I realized that days can just slip by so fast. Before you know it, everyone's Instagram and Twitter updates are filled with #tgif ! And before you know it, you're writing
Christmas cards already and getting ready for countdown again.

Living in the moment doesn't mean we simply throw away all our responsibilities and cares; it also doesn't mean we strip off all worries and only seek pleasure. It's simply taking a moment or two every now and then to appreciate being alive and to aim to act like today matters and live life to the full, right here, right now.

We CAN'T project all our future happiness into the future - 'Oh, if only I were smarter/ richer/ slimmer/ younger/ had a better job/ taller/ had a nicer car' - the list is endless!!!!

Lets appreciate what we've got right now and yet still dream and plan. That way we'll be a little happier now than if we're constantly looking into the future, where happiness apparently lies.

That said, thank you everyone for painting my life so colorful. It's not easy to keep up with me at times, but hey. You guys did it and here we are, another 364 days to go to another high five and 'pat-on-the-back moment' :)

Renee, now go rock this brand new year and be crazier!


Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Cambodia Missions '13

Cambodia Mission Trip


"When people describe their poverty they don't point to their circumstances, their health, or even their finances. They typically point to their sense of self worth.

For many, this sense of worthlessness just so happens to visibly manifest itself in their material poverty.

We feel a sense of pride because we feel like we're making a difference, unaware that at the same time, we might actually be making the other person feel less valuable." -Sam Roberts

The special thing about mission trip is you are on a spiritual warfare, you are ON A MISSION to impact and spread the good news. 

Every single mission trip is a different experience, and it only gets better because we serve an Almighty God and we stand on His firm foundation.

During one of our Sunday devotion prior to the mission trip, one of the 'Talk It Over Discussion Questions' went something like this: 

Brian Fikkert said, "It doesn't matter how well-intentioned we are - good intentions are not enough. It is possible to hurt people in the very process of trying to help them." 
How does this statement make you feel?

We, a team of 31, then set out on the 7th of August, all packed with AAA batteries and a bag of love each that will eventually overflow to the Cambodians.

That evening we set foot on Cambodia grounds, we were squeezed into 2 vans and a taxi, on a 5 hour plus journey to Battambang. Eating hotdog on the go, entertaining ourselves all the way throughout.

The clock struck midnight and we FINALLY arrived at our hotel, and then, 
the trip begun.

It was a 3 day camp LOHI School, partnered with Royal Rangers organised.
Sea of blue filled the hall, and it dawned upon us that this crowd of children are READY TO ROCK and their energy and excitement was wilder than our imagination!

We had 2 separate camps running concurrently: English camp and Vacation Bible School (VBS).
Myself, Janna, Hannah, Richard, June, Eric, Danielle, Jonah, Jordan were part of the VBS crew.

The 3 main stations: Story telling, Crafts and Games.

What warmed my heart was their eagerness to learn. Their eyes sparkle as new things were taught to them.

Only a child sees things with perfect clarity, because it hasn't developed all those filters which prevent us from seeing things that we don't expect to see.

Sunday, celebration day!
We split into smaller groups and vroom-ed off to separate villages on motorbikes.

An hour and a half journey, one way to enter into this village. The numb face from the harsh hit of wind automatically loosens into a big smile as the children started jumping up and down at the sight of us and the adults were beaming too.

Simple action songs were taught, crafts were done with the younger ones and I shared my personal testimony with the older ones, with Phallin (a local) as my translator, of course! 

"For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them."
-Matthew 18:20

Because a Church is a congregation of people, not a beautiful building filled with nicely dressed Christians that does not portray love in their daily lifestyle.

Back to the question that disturbed me before the trip, and throughout the trip...


"Restoration is a developmental approach that comes alongside people and walks with them. A restorative approach allows us to bring our gifts to the table, and the person being helped brings their gifts to the table. 
The other person's situation is improved and both of us become more like what God wants us to be."

After so many mission trips, God's love still never fail to amaze me. His Grace and mercy is new each and every day.
The spiritual warfare is real. His presence is real.

My accident was one of the many testimony in this trip that proved that if our God is for us, who can ever be against us.

Read about my motorbike accident encounter here: 

Another great thing about this trip is that I realized that a new generation has risen up to their calling.
It feels good to be at the back end of things sometimes as you pass on the baton for the younger ones to run the race as you cheer and guide them on.
And despite it all, God will still shower you with His abundant love and renew that servanthood spirit, allowing you to go further and further and further.

That's, the beauty of  the Royal Rangers ministry.

This boy came up to me on our last day at Battambang and handed me a broken doll. So I took the doll from him, went on a hunt for the super glue and fixed the doll. Grinning inside cause I know he'll be elated. True enough, he gave the widest smile when I handed the doll. But he didn't take it from my hand. He said "teacher Renee, it's for you." And opened my other hand to give me a paper flower. 
He then asked with the sweet innocent face, "See you tomorrow?" And I hugged him and cried. Saying a little prayer inside my heart that this boy will grow up and win souls, pursue his dream and change lives.

In the end, it's the relationships that matters. No amount of work done will account as much as the time spent with the people, the lives touched, the prayers and words spoken over their lives.

We all want to be a nation changer, the next Mother Theresa, the noble Bill Gates that donates it all to charity.

But the truth is, we're all blessed with different gifts, different capabilities, different talents. And if those are used properly, worth a whole lot more than you could possibly imagine.



Sunday, December 30, 2012


Each year, I try to do a review of the year. To reflect back, to identify the mistakes, to admire great pictures taken attached with fond memories, to be grateful for milestones achieved, to thank God for His unfailing love and abundant blessings...

If you were to ask anyone what was their greatest moment of the year 2012, I'm pretty sure there is no same answer to each one, each juicy and amazing in its own way. 
But this is the story about me, it is after all, my blog. Heh. 

Time and time again, we get reminded of how much we've grown. Through pictures, evidently; through aunties and uncles that meets you few times a year; through sharing with friends that knows you since young; through mistakes; through the different phases of life we embark on. 

Officially becoming an adult this year and finally entering the working force, I realize that growing old is exciting, but it comes with a whole baggage of responsibilities and challenges. You learn to see things not just from one perspective but from many other angles. Simply, judgement does not belong to us, sinners. 

I still get questions from people asking me about my America trip. Honestly? I don't think I'll ever get sick of telling my wonderful Sequoia adventure and the whole traveling stories, and how much I adore that amazing country! I learnt that life is not always about following the norm, taking that bold step to do things differently will bring about a whole lot of interesting elements we never could have imagined if we stayed in our comfort zones and never moved out. I admit, it wasn't the most glamorous job, but the experiences I've gained, people I crossed path with, changes and different culture that was embraced; was priceless. I wouldn't trade it for the highest paying manager job even! 
5 months and 20gb of pictures later, I'm stronger and wiser, and fatter.

The pressure was on when I returned to homeland in August, it was time to fight with thousands over fresh graduates, for a job that will pay me well, and to enter a company that can offer me great stability and learning curve. Battle score? I fought a pretty good battle, went through few dilemmas but finally settling for a war to out beat 700 over applicants and landed myself in TNT (and no, they do not make dynamites, gee). The job acceptance into a MNC, an industry that I knew absolutely nothing about, plus a job title that has so much expectancy and pressure; I'm coping well and loving it, so far :)
A dramatic change from a student life to a 830 to 6 working adult. From breaks as long as 4 months to restrictions of 14 days annual leave! Yes, I struggled, but it's all part of growing up, ain't it? 

*throws the mortar board into air*
Almost a year of delayed graduate joy, but to finally adorn that black robe and mortar board, to strut up that stairs to shake hands with the chancellor to receive the cert your parents paid so much worked hard for, really is a pretty amazing feeling. To see the parental unit beaming with pride, warms the heart, knowing that you've done well and that they've completed their 'financial obligations' to us children.

One of the toughest moment of the year was definitely bidding goodbye to my dearest Fiji. One thing I was really looking forward to when I was still in the States was the sight of him through Skype sessions with the family, but the last Skype session was his burial. Ironic.
Fiji, lived to 9 years. Jaundice had the good in him and his lung gave way :'(  
His brief eulogy I wrote to him in Vegas:

Dearly missed, everyday.

Family and Friendship ties were strengthened, new bonds were formed. Old kin rekindled. There's no special categories of friends, really. There are those few that I hold close to my heart, but know that all of you plays an important role in forming who I am today. Each individual that has invested time in me, prayed for me, spoke wise words to me, or just being silly and exchanging rubbish conversations with me...
It all matters :') 
Because I truly believe it is not by luck that you and I crossed paths, but in every relationship, there's a special blessing in it.

365 days of adventure cannot be possibly summarized in a blog post. So heck, I shall go back to the justified appropriate 'length' of all speeches/ talks/ stories: 
short and sweet.

2012, you have been too good to me. 
I'm 21 and ready to take on 2013!


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

9530 miles.

Memory is the basis of every journey...

February 25th, the day we set our feet on THAT plane, that took us to a country that we have seen so much in movies, a country that harbours an astounding collection of natural and cultural wonders, a country with a population of 314,201,000 and in short, we were headed for THE GREAT AMERICA.

Sequoia National Park was our workplace for 4 months, and it is famous for its GIANT sequoia trees, including the General Sherman tree, the LARGEST tree in the world. True story.

For more information on the park, feel free to visit their website: 

With only a windbreaker each, and absolutely no snow gear, the troopers survived winter in Sequoia! Being 13,000 feet (4,000m) up, it snows. Snowball fights were held with shorts at most times, Asians. Being my first time experiencing snow, we went pretty much ALL OUT. Sled rides, snowball fights, snowman makings, snow hikes, snowshoe-ing, 'boot-skiing', shoveling, snowangel creations, you name it, we tried it! Watching millions of tiny snowflakes falling off the sky is a really amazing sight. 

We were living in WinterWonderland, aka Narnia land for a good 2 months or so, then the grass started to make their way and the white land soon turned to green pastures, it's about time, flowers, HELLO SPRING!  More hiking trips were taken, and shorts were appropriate to be worn already. HEH. 

Work was getting pretty routinized, and we were loving the 'kampung' cabins lifestyle. Everyday did in a way, felt like a vacation. After all, we were living in a park where tourists from all over the world traveled up there for a getaway and to absorb everything nature has to offer. The days went by with more dramas, stories, experiences and emotions accumulated. 

I wish there was a pause button that I could hit because time felt like it was going on a fast forwarded pace. Before we know it, July was almost knocking on our door already. I was riding on an emotional roller coaster the last few days up there in the park, the thought of leaving people that I've grew close over that short period of time was one of the toughest part. To bid farewell to the beautiful, majestic views of the great mountains and trees wasn't easy too, but it had to be done. Bearpaw and then an epic fall, followed by a dramatic closure to my working stint in Sequoia and VOILA, it was a wrap! The packing sure was a feat when we had like GAZILLION stuff in that small 11x11 cabin! Goodbyes were said, litres of tears were shed, and then the official traveling BEGUN.

San Francisco, LA, Las Vegas and New York, each a brimming metropolis whose name alone makes us squeal in excitement and conjures a million different notions of culture and entertainment! And then there was the Utah and Arizona (Grand Canyon) to add to the America trippin' as well :] It's no wonder why only about 24% of Americans have passports when they are born into a country that is SO HUGE and have so much to offer. Europe was only a short span of 10 days, Paris and Italy! ❤ 

This eyes, have seen so much. Captured pictures and videos can relive the moment but to be personally there, to see the Colosseum, to watch sunset across the largest crack in the world, to view the nightlights of NYC at 1am from the top of the empire state building, to walk along The Strip, to watch 'Wicked' in the original Gershwin theater, to stroll along the Hollywood street, to cycle across the Golden Gate bridge, to be in Disneyland and experience the magic for myself... is simply a kind of happiness that is indescribable and just so overwhelming. 

Le parents, my strongest pillar of support. For this opportunity that many can only dream and for believing in me, GRACIAS ❤ 
Le fellow troppers! Nuff' emotional things have been said on you two, but really, thankyou :')

Special shoutouts will take place later on in one album so don't think I left you, you and you out! I definitely had my fair share of happy, sad, gnarly, elephantastic, outofthisworld and rougher times throughout this 5 and a half month span. One of the saddest part was the passing away of my dearest dog, Fiji while I was in Las Vegas. It has been more than a month since he has left us but it still tears my heart when his name is mentioned. He was family. He was a joy. RIP my dear, you have lived a great life and had brightened many souls while you were alive.

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Catch the trade winds in your sails."

Explore. Dream. Discover. 
Mark Twain