Honesty

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Self-confidence, I’m realizing, is a lot deeper than just thinking I’m beautiful and being free in who I am. It also includes being confident in my decisions and trusting myself to be committed to the things I want to do. To step outside of my comfort zone and assure myself that I will be okay in doing so. This kind of self-confidence will help me see the success I want to see.

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Transition from being a student to being a full-time working adult was . . . odd. But it has been an interesting ride thus far, and to say the very least I’m (thankfully) enjoying the process as a whole. Definitely more responsibilities, and the need to be independent is a lot more prominent than ever before.

As much as I’m trying my best to be conscious about certain things, thinking back about the past week, I realised instances where I was unintentionally & unknowingly viewing circumstances of others through my personal lens. I need to be more mindful, and to not let my inexperience get in the way of the assistance/help I can offer as a worker to my patients hmm.

3 weeks into the job and I can safely say that I really, really love what I’m doing even though it might get so fast paced/exhausting/tiring at times. Started to OT already but I blame it on nothing but my lack of efficiency and that I’m still trying to get used to things. Hopefully I’ll get more productive in the coming weeks & shorten the time needed whoopiewhoooop! Feeling incredibly blessed to have such supportive & nice colleagues too 🙂 I think the work environment is so important/crucial in ensuring survival in this industry as a whole haha.

Engaged in random splurges of clothes, makeup, books in the past week…….. shame on you when you lack that discipline but still preach to your patients about the importance of self-control lol. Must be the stress haha, but taking this long weekend as a form of respite before the craziness hits again when Tuesday comes.

Being a social worker is really a life-long learning process, and I’m so thankful for all the support as I trudge through this journey, both with fellow social workers & the clients/patients I work with 🙂 Feeling so blessed!

Slowly, but surely :’) These 6 months wouldn’t be easy, but I know it’ll be more than worth it.

Pourquoi

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Some days you just have to create your own sunshine.

This morning, I spent an hour or so just reading through social work related articles, watching social work related videos, and just reflecting about social work/being a worker in general.

I felt happy, witnessing the efforts of this profession that I’m definitely proud to be a part of in the near future. The dedication, the sincerity that comes across as genuine concern and compassion for people.

But somehow, my heart felt heavy. And … burdened? Videos that reflected the realities of being a worker, of the things that we’ll encounter, it was all too real. Some issues depicted in the videos hit home way too hard.

And no amount of preparation could ever be enough for facing what’s to come. But I’ll try. For what it’s worth, I’ll try my hardest. I’m just hoping that my hardest will be enough.

On a lighter note, one last paper tomorrow after a long preparation time for finals whoop whoop so excited for it to end – although I haven’t exactly been the most studious haha, I really enjoy learning but I’m not one for studying.

Last day of November, and hello to December. My favourite month of the year, & I was just thinking about reasons for that randomly and came to the conclusion that December brings about a strong sense of nostalgia, and it’s a feeling that I really, really like.

This post has been nothing short of incoherence, till the next time when my thoughts are more organised haha x

Reality

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You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you still can come out of it.

– Maya Angelou

The irony in the picture above screams too loudly – this is exactly what is not being done, when it’s the exact thing that we should be doing as a Social Work profession. Haven’t felt this kind of disappointment since I started my journey in Social Work, till this whole incident occurred.

Where is the so-called social justice that we are supposed to stand up for? Where is the advocacy that we claim to be doing? How can one seem so nonchalant about the fact that there may be safety compromises in a family – one that they are unwilling to engage because “the family hasn’t given their consent”?

Why is it that, a Worker is willing to rigidly follow policies – aren’t we there to help those that fall through the cracks of such policies? While we acknowledge that there are indeed policies there, why are you letting yourself be limited by these policies? The very fact that you realise there are limitations – shouldn’t you actually be doing something about it?

What is our purpose then? 

For the first time, I don’t know what to believe in anymore.

The anger within me is being surfaced by an underlying pool of disappointment. I’m disappointed at the service (or lack thereof) that is provided; I’m disappointed in the attitudes of the professionals that we’ve interacted with for this incident; I’m disappointed that the professionals are actually okay with such practices in their agency; I’m disappointed by the condescending tone that we received upon stepping into the agency & how we’re treated as though we’re totally clueless and don’t possess any knowledge at all.

& most importantly, I’m disappointed and ashamed to realise that all that I’ve believed in, all the passion and trust I have in this profession, this picture that I’ve painted mentally, is not all that it seemed to be.

It’s sad, and I acknowledge that this profession isn’t one that is fully recognised in our community yet. It’s sad that there are still misconceptions about what we do, or that we are powerless to help people. People may have their misconceptions, and while we strive to dispel them, maybe these misconceptions are built upon unsaid truths of people’s experiences. From what I witness through this incident, this agency is still, at its current development, no more than the hands of the puppet that policies control.

In the (near) future, may I never be someone that loses sight of the meaning of what being a Worker entails. Because today, I’m speaking as nothing more than a victim of the failure in service provided by an agency. & if I ever be such a Worker in the future, I will leave the profession.

And if I don’t, please make me.

Reminders

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As a Social Worker …

I am here to listen,
not to work miracles

I am here to help people discover what they are feeling,
not to make feelings go away

I am here to help people identify their options,
not to decide for them what they should do

I am here to discuss steps with people,
not to take the steps for them

I am here to help people discover their own strengths,
not to rescue them and leave them vulnerable

I am here to help people discover they can help themselves,
not to take responsibility for them

I am here to help people learn to choose,
not to keep them from making difficult choices

I am here to provide support for change.

Helping

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Being a social worker means …

you will never be bored
you will always be frustrated
you will be surrounded by challenges
so much to do and so little time
you will carry immense responsibility
and very little authority
you will step into people’s lives
and you will make a difference
some will bless you
some will curse you
you will see people at their worst
and their best
you will never cease to be amazed
at people’s capacity for
love, courage, and endurance
you will see life begin
and end
you will experience resounding triumphs
and devastating failures
you will cry a lot
you will laugh a lot
you will know what is it to be human
and to be humane

Little Talks

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We shelter an angel within us. We must be the guardian of that angel.

Procrastination at its best despite having a paper tomorrow & I am far from being prepped . . . the lack of motivation for this module is legit haha. Currently only 20% done with finals & I’ve so many friends who are done/gonna be done/more than halfway through already sigh this sucks. It’s only gonna get worse next week when everyone’s in post finals mode and nope, finals only end next Thursday for me ugh.

Feeling angsty/sian these days really easily it’s not good gosh. But for good reason I suppose? And the amount of ambiguity and issues and pent-up frustrations in my life has been overwhelmingly insane what’s going on in my life???? And also feeling pretty meh about not going for OMAM/Damien Rice concerts when they hit the town, nobody to go with/not sure if I have work haha daaaaamn what a bummer.

‘ve been listening to quite a few songs these days that aren’t helping my mood/situation, I guess this is what people mean when they talk about feeding negativity with more negativity, it’s a vicious cycle that you wouldn’t want to step out of. Kinda really apologetic to those who listen to my never-ending vents whoopsies but thanks guys y’all are the best thanks for always checking in on me randomly to make sure I’m still surviving/sane/alive *virtual hug* 🙂 Okay gross.

Kinda need to regulate my sleep cycle before placement starts, not helpful at all if I’m gonna be sleeping past 4 in the morning everyday whoooops. Late nights do serve as a good platform for therapeutic thinking, but engaging in too much of such might serve as a deterrence from accepting reality hmm. Go figure. Anywaaaaaay, read so many random articles today that are really thought provoking, ranging from articles about torturing mentally ill prisoners to the controversy of kindness to even talking about reevaluating empathy hmm. And also the article about child protection work/services in SG that G shared (hi there HAHA), with the increasing prevalence of articles related to our work, it really makes you think a lotttttt more. Kinda wanna discuss about my thoughts on all ’em articles I read today but it’s finals period & I don’t wanna disturb anyone more than I already have so, self-discussion shall suffice I guess. Anyone up for discussion lemme know though hee.

To sum my life up these days:

It’s just so out of control. Life, I mean. The way it flies off in all these different directions without your permission. – Sara Zarr

Till the next time, all the best to everyone fighting battles (be it finals or not) x

Reconciliation

Let someone love you just the way you are – as flawed as you might be, as unattractive as you sometimes feel, and as unaccomplished as you think you are. To believe that you must hide all the parts of you that are broken, out of fear that someone else is incapable of loving what is less than perfect, is to believe that sunlight is incapable of entering a broken room and illuminating a dark room.

Had my very first social work tutorial of my life today, and it was really inspiring/thought provoking. And this is one of the many stories our professor shared with us, which I feel would be good to document down:

She attended a workshop recently, and in the workshop they showed a picture of someone stepping on broken glass.
“Ouch” must have been your first reaction right? Well, at least it was for me.
And yet she shared that, we need to realise that it’s easier to mend the cuts from broken glass,
than to mend a broken heart.

So true, from different perspectives, to such a large extent. The context for this sharing was regarding abandonment of elderly parents by irresponsible children who choose not to take care of their parents, even though those are the times where they require the most help/assistance, be it physically or emotionally.

Something unique about studying social work as an undergraduate would be how relevant & relatable it is to our current context, where different cases we chance upon all serve as platforms for learning & thinking critically – should you be the social worker in charge of the case, would you have made the same decisions, or would you have ventured a different route of help? Something that makes being a social worker so meaningful is really the fundamentals of the profession – as the Code of Professional Ethics states, “The profession of social work is based upon a belief in the value and dignity of all human beings, and a concern for their social well being.” We aim to serve, to help, and to guide people. And yet, something that makes this profession such a vulnerable one would be the susceptibility to a wide range of emotions, and having to discern what the most informed and wise choice is, which then again varies from situations as well as perspectives, alongside the beliefs of both parties.

Intriguing & fulfilling discussions during tutorials, which really allows for the gaining of exposure and depth into situations/perspectives that we might not have even considered otherwise. It has only been 2.5 weeks as a social work major, but I’m not regretting anything, and I’m enjoying it tremendously 🙂 Even with the insane number of readings, it’ll be worth it; the readings are mostly quite interesting anyway, and I feel that I can truly benefit from them. For the areas that I’m lacking in, I’m hoping to improve in these years as a social work undergraduate, before I start my profession 🙂 Really excited for the future, hope this passion will last hee.

Got the chance to chat with my professor after my tutorial session today (coincidentally met each other again), and she asked about my decision to change my major. It was a brave move, she said. But it’s something that I wouldn’t regret, for there’s no room for regret, and upon finalising the decision back during the summer, it was a personal decision to not look back any longer. Sharing briefly about my experiences in CSC and how I’ve met inspiring social workers, then made me realise how much of a significance CSC has played in my life thus far – despite only being an active member from the summer of 2014.

In this one year, so many things have changed. A year ago, I wouldn’t have imagined being elected into the position I’m going to hold officially next Thursday. A year from now, I hope I wouldn’t regret the responsibilities laid upon me alongside this role, and that it’ll be a wonderful journey of self-discovery, while hoping to work well alongside the other members to really create this nurturing environment for CSC 🙂

With elections day 1 concluding on 23 August, and miraculously allowing me to be successfully elected as the VPRP, I’d really hope to express my heartfelt thanks to some people who have played such pivotal & significant roles in the past months.

To the ones who helped me in the decision making of running for this position in the first place, thank you for giving me the courage & encouragement; to allow me to step out of my comfort zone & take action of something that I feel passionate for.

To the ones who helped me review my initial plans/directions & providing constructive criticism/feedback, thank you for all your honesty & different perspectives/inputs which led me to an eventual direction I hope to achieve in my term.

To the ones who supported me throughout the whole course, be it in terms of emotional support and all the well wishes/congratulatory messages after getting elected; or even physically coming down to support me & having to sit through the full 2h of elections, thank you so so much, for I know I wouldn’t have been able to survive without all these support.

To the two whom I’ve been meeting every single day since school started till elections day 1 for meetings after meetings, thank you for going through all these together, and I’m really looking forward to working together in our term, while continuing to have fun & enjoying the company at the same time.

To the one who has been a huge source of inspiration & allowing me to gain new insights, thank you for everything. This position wouldn’t have been made possible for me without you.

This will definitely be documented as one of the craziest wildest decisions I’ve made thus far. But no regrets 🙂

Long day ahead later, still up typing this post at 3.30am, not done with preparations for my tutorials later, but I’m glad the above has been documented and kept safely in endlessparadigm. Time to continue with tutorials, with the songs of Lana Del Rey to accompany me through the night.

Till the next time, and all the best to those running for elections this Sunday (including my sis hee) alright this was such a long & seemingly incoherent post bye x