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a lil update + a break

A lot has happened in the past month — a restructuring happened and 20% of our office here in Singapore has been laid off (I’m not directly affected; one of the ‘lucky’ ones I suppose), and plenty of figuring out and trying to pick up the pieces have been taking place.

I’ve gone through the gamut of emotions as you can imagine, but I’ve been thinking and saying that I’m okay, because that’s the way for me to be okay (we might have to unpack this one, fellas). Still, there are a lot of unanswered questions and the future seems as murky as ever, especially in this job climate.

The GMAT preparation is still going on. I contemplated sticking the word ‘strong’ at the end of that sentence, but honestly, I’m not sure of the veracity of that claim. As expected, my quant knowledge leaves very much to be desired, but I’m hopeful and optimistic so far.

The curveball of the new exam format is making me rethink timelines a little, but I also know that as an older candidate, time is ticking for me to do a full-time MBA. This is as opposed to being asked to apply for an executive MBA, and boy, if I thought I didn’t have money to do a full-time degree, an EMBA is about twice the cost.

But first, I’m taking a few days off and going on a cruise. I haven’t been on one for a few years now. Here’s also being hopeful that it’ll be a recharging break.

P.S. I deleted Teams and Outlook from my phone this past Friday. We’ll see how that holds up.

On test prep and lifetimes ago

  • mba

I’ve given myself 2023 to think about whether I want to pursue an MBA.

I should perhaps consider shortening the timeframe, since 1) I’m not getting younger, as cliches go, and I’m far exceeding the age ceiling of an average full-time MBA student and 2) Admissions are generally right now in the year, so I’ll have to shore up my applications before the year mark is up, I think.

To that end, I have been flicking through some GMAT prep books just to get myself acquainted with the exam format, and figure out where I should focus my energy on. Math had never been my strongest suit despite the distinction in the O Levels, like my sister would remind me (of her tutoring skills during those trying times), and after 18 years of not flexing any mathematical skills, I fear that I’m struggling.

18 years — that’s more than half a lifetime ago.

Hopefully, dormant knowledge surfaces as I go along.

But this should be a fun ride. I’ll try to document as much as I can here, and see where we are in a year’s time.

Short-forms and quantity

  • misc

I missed when I was writing regularly (once a week in 2021, hey), and I realize I’m putting undue pressure on myself to write something that is quality.

Which is silly, because:

  1. This site has a readership of 1 (me)
  2. There are no rules to what this personal space I’m carving out with my words holds
  3. Everything goes back to me stressing myself out, as if that is my hobby

I remember telling some friends that some books should remain as TED Talks instead of the fluffed-up books they become, and that holds true for what I’m doing here as well.

So maybe, instead of trying to start and continue long-form articles, I’m going to wean myself back into the habit of just letting the words flow. At least it’s good practice for when I have to write something long, like admissions essays.

But more on that another time.

on some more fun in my life

  • Life

“只是玩toy toy而已,不要做东西” (or: I just want to play toys, and not do anything).

Wise words from my 5-year old nephew about his ideal day made me crack up, but also made me wonder: When did I stop having fun?

Last year, I ruminated a little on having fun, with the full intention of trying out a year of fun. Then, in typical me fashion, this all got pushed to the wayside because of work, and also because of the bigger health concerns I discovered during that same time.

But it’s really plain to see: I have grown really, really bad at producing serotonin. If I’m not doing work, I’m thinking about work or work-adjacent things, like mentoring and productivity and optimizing. If something I’m doing doesn’t build towards learning, I feel guilty.

Here’s a laundry list of things that I do already do that I think are fun, and also ways I have made them… just a little bit stressful:




Playing puzzles and games

Watching cleaning videos on YouTube

Stress-inducing approach

Worrying about feedback and engagement

Setting yearly targets that I cram into the December

Getting the best times, or perfect scores

Wondering what I’m actually getting out of it

Then there are the other buckets of activities that require money, and, well. I’m someone who takes about five years to make money decisions.

So, given this, I’ve asked my friends on Instagram to give me suggestions.

The suggestions

(Curated, based on physical feasibility)

Physical activity: Walking/hiking, skating, dancing, geocaching, bouldering, yoga

Non-physical activities: Watching nature, Drinking, K-Pop, skincare, shopping, reading

Games and puzzles: Legos, chess, video games

New skills: Knitting/crocheting, guitar, photography, cooking, painting, baking, drawing, cycling, pottery/carpentry


I think it’s a pretty good list to get started.