Unexpectedly… Malaysia

It seemed ages since I last wrote here, and I’ve missed my yearly tradition of recapping the past year. I’ve been so caught up at the changes in my life and celebrated new year at KL and had spent the last few days of 2017 on training.

But here goes. 

There weren’t a lot of special occasion or travel destination this year. I cut off a bit in quick-fix traveling and planned one local and one abroad destination. In January, I went to Korea (finally!) with my family. It was winter and I realized I’m not the “winter-person” as I thought I was. You can read my Korea trip here.

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In April, we had a triple celebration – my birthday, my promotion and Roy and I turned a year as a couple. We’re not big on anniversaries or something so we just decided to get some good wine and pair it with some cheese and meat platter at Barcino’s. We also had a major fight that month that we took some time apart to re-evaluate everything. 😉


By the middle of the year, I was itching to go take a vacation. I was demotivated at work having promoted but doing the same tasks everyday that it became such a struggle showing up at the office. I told myself I’d resign after I take my vacation in July but the universe had a funny way of changing minds.

We went to Bali last July and was badly looking forward to it. Roy and I always wanted to see and explore Bali so we were that excited. It was also our first time to travel abroad together. Before the trip, I found out that my passport was exactly six months valid on the day of my departure. Imagine my stress! Thankfully, it was still considered technically valid. It was raining for the most part so we didn’t really have the time to see everything. I promise to be back!



When I got back from my vacation, I was offered the team lead role (yay another promotion!). It was also the time when the application support team opened a vacancy. I was waiting for that opportunity for a year but due to the current project being transitioned, I couldn’t leave yet. I was torn between the team lead and app support role. I had to talk to my senior and to my closest friends and weighed the pros and cons. Eventually, I came to a decision that I’ll accept the team lead role (as I’ve been doing the role for a year now) and see how it would work out.


I spent the next months attending meetings, reviewing reports and status, approving annual leaves and plotting shifts etc. On top of that, I also needed to do the tasks I was doing before I was promoted. Oh! They also added another team for me to handle – the French-speaking team. I was stressed and frustrated and I felt so incompetent during the transition process. But then I saw the numbers improving and then I realized that somehow I was helping making a change and adding value to the project.


I knew there was a reason why I was going through it. I’ve kept in my mind that whatever that was thrown my way, it’s going to be of use in the future – not sure how, but I could always use it one way or another.

The role helped me develop my character – resilience, patience, understanding. I had to be resilient to stress and frustrations; to be patient to teach and provide guidance; to be understanding not only in a professional level, but most importantly in a personal way. I have so much thankfulness to the management who supported my growth all throughout.

There were days when I was just so tired from work and would feel stuck that I would update all my CVs uploaded in different job hunting sites that were left untouched for quite some time. I wanted to see if I am still marketable or eligible to apply for a technical position and if the team lead role would add some markups. There was one company that I really liked and they offered me the role, however the salary was a bit low from my asking so I had to decline and I felt stuck all the more.

I had to convince time and time again to fully devote myself to the role and just when it started to sink in, I got a call from a recruiter in Malaysia. Interviews were scheduled the following days. The technical interview went really bad. I felt the frustration from the interviewer, so bad that we didn’t even have pleasantries before hanging up. He just hanged up. I was so disappointed in myself and took it as a rejection and had to write in futureme.org so I could look back 2 years from that day and say I did well whatever the results were. I was surprised when two days later, I got another call (as scheduled) for the client interview. It was a pleasant interview, with the hiring manager not looking for specific technical commands but more on your knowledge and experience in those. In the final interview, I had no more pressure to myself. I was ‘just get on with it, you have nothing to lose’. The next day, I was offered the job.

I really think it was the ‘team lead’ role that helped me get the job. 

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Mandatory shot at Petronas Tower

Things happened so fast. By the end of the October, I found myself flying to Malaysia. Now that I’m writing about it, I haven’t really thought much about going to Malaysia and working. I just wanted to try. I could always go back and start again if I failed. The list I got was checked off – good salary, good role (not too technical, not too admin), I have nothing to lose. Exactly what I had prayed for.

The only problem is that I like it here. I really like Malaysia. It’s close to home (4-hour plane trip), less traffic (they really have a good transportation and road system), cheap (yes, very cheap!), met wonderful people, and Malaysians taught me that you CAN do anything! No can’t in this country. Can you finish the three-day report in 30minutes? CAN! Can you be here at KL by 530pm? CAN! Can you move in the next day? CAN! It’s amazing how people always say they CAN do it they try their best to do so. This is something that I really want to follow through – the CAN-do attitude.

I was also so surprised by how diverse the culture is in this country and how people are so accepting and respectful of each others’ culture.


Anyway, by liking Malaysia — I’ve managed to disturb my whole I just wanted to try and if I fail I can always go back outlook. I want to do better. I want to prove to everyone that I am the right fit. Moreover, I want to stay.

I spent the last two months of 2017 suffering over worry and anxiety. I would wake up in the morning shaking and I wouldn’t even know why. I would feel so bad when I have nothing to do in the office. I would cry on my knees while praying. But I think I know what God’s doing, why I’m here. Life in Manila got hectic that I could count the times I opened my Bible. In this year, I only had 8 journal entries and those mostly talked about stress. Now, I’m back to praying and doing my morning devotions. It helped me put everything into perspective. This is not ME – or I. This is God. I should trust in Him no matter what. The morning devotions helped a lot. There was one devotion I did that said, “Ask yourself what is the worst thing that could happen to you if…”

What is the worst thing that could happen to me if I fail? Am I going to die? No. If I’m not going to die, then there will always be hope. There will always be opportunities. There will always be a redirection. There will always be lessons learned.

By identifying the worst thing that could happen, God helped silence my heart. There are still days that I overthink, but I know that if I just do my best, God will do the rest.


Anxiety doesn’t go away in one sitting or one prayer. It’s a daily surrender. And until I learn how to surrender all in all, I will be a work in progress. With all the changes at the last quarter of year 2017, I ended it with a multitude of uncertainties about life in general. But day in and out, God reminds me that He got this so this is what I’m exactly going to do this 2018 – lay it down to Him in prayer and trust the process.

To sum it up, 2017 was mainly focused on my career and character development. It was the year for my career breakthrough and I grew up and learned to seriously take accountability for my own and teams’ actions – something that I’ve been afraid to take in the past years in my employment history, lol. It’s been a great year, really! I’ve always known that whenever I’m in the ‘dry’ or ‘tough’ season, it will help catapult me into something bigger. I noticed the pattern… every. single. time — and here I am!

So that’s it from me. Happy new year! I pray that all your wishes will come true by the end of 2018. Take life easy and always live everyday as if it’s your last… but not too yolo.

I honestly have no plans yet for this year, but let’s see. 🙂



One Comment Add yours

  1. Still love reading your posts Kim.

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