1111 And (What I Think) It Means For Me

Sunday, 13 November 2022

It's been two days since I wrote the title of this blog. Somehow, I lost focus and simply could not find the words to say. Perhaps because the reality that I left a job that I was quite happy with has not sunk in. Perhaps, I am anxious of starting a new job. But wait, I have not been this anxious before. I have changed jobs at least three times in the last two years, and I never felt this anxious. This morning I was very frustrated as I found myself pacing in our home office back and forth feeling so bothered, and I didn't know why. For the first time since I went back to St Thomas's from New Zealand after my career break in 2017, I was feeling so insecure. I actually told J that I was feeling depressed- kind of an exaggeration, but honestly, I didn't know what I was feeling this morning. Until I was reminded of the "angel number"  1111 and what I think it means for me. I started seeing these numbers over two years ago.

This year, I must have seen 1111 more than ten times, mostly when I looked at the time on my mobile phone. At first, I thought it was some sort of a bad sign. I was scared, so I started googling it and apparently, "1111 is thought of as a symbol of your own personhood and identity". The article that I read from Women's Health further states that "seeing ones often signifies new beginnings or a nod from the universe that you're on the right path". I went back to this article this morning and it gave me a reassurance that I am indeed on the right path and I believe in this because:

A few months ago, one of my former managers introduced me casually to someone who would then offer me a job, almost on the spot. After a few days of reflection and deliberation, I accepted the offer. I mean, it was not as if I wasn't happy with my then current job. In fact, that job was better than the one previously. It was less stressful in a sense and I was genuinely happy. The people that I've worked with looked after me very well, and the rest of the staff were generally supportive. But somehow, I knew that this job was not "it". I knew (yet again) that I had a purpose and rightly so, I strongly believed that before I left, I have served that purpose. 

And so I handed in my notice on the 22nd of August, without realising that my last official day with the Trust would be the 11th of November (11/11). This didn't occur to me until about two weeks later. Trust me, I didn't do this on purpose. It was then I started reflecting on the 1111 number more often, and more seriously. This led me to the realisation that perhaps I need a break from acute healthcare. The last four years of my nursing career have been very challenging. But don't get me wrong because no matter how challenging it had been, I remain very grateful because I learned so many valuable lessons- about the industry that I am in, the people that I have worked with, and most especially about myself.  And now I believe that perhaps, I endured those difficult years because the universe was preparing me for what is yet to come. 

But what do I really think 1111 means for me? Well, on my last working day, the numbers appeared again through the weather forecast. Before I left for work that day, I checked the weather and the temperature from 6am was 11 for about two to three hours. And then last night, when I was preparing my phone for work on Monday, the 1111 number appeared on a letter that was sent to me by the phone company. So yes, the number 1111 for me marks a new beginning, a break from the gruelling challenges of acute nursing. In the last four years of my professional life, I've gone from bad to better. And now I am manifesting that I am moving on to the BEST. 

Perhaps I just didn't realise that the universe was trying to send me a message during those times when 1111 was appearing to me more frequently than I was comfortable with. Perhaps it was a reassurance that things will get better. That  indeed, I was and still is on the right path.

But who knows? All I can do now is to face the next chapter with an open heart and open mind like I always have done. I know there will be challenges, but I also know that I got this!


Christmas Lights in London: My Personal Favourites

Sunday, 6 November 2022

As much as I am not very keen on the cold weather, I must say that Christmas is my favourite season in London. London is of course beautiful all year round, however the capital really shows off during Christmas time. The lights surrounding the city are captivating and they bring so much joy even to those who don't necessarily believe in Christmas. By now, Oxford Street lights are switched on, and in the coming days, the rest of them will grace the busy streets of the capital. I have been lucky to have enjoyed most of my favourite lights away from the madding crowd during the pandemic, and on my early morning walks to work. And now that we are back to normal and I no longer work and live in Central London, I thought I'd write about my favourite Christmas Lights just in case some of you are planning to visit London during this time.

1. Regent Street
- It's no doubt that Regent Street has the the most beautiful Christmas Lights in London. The long street connecting Piccadilly Circus and Oxford Circus is adorned by the "Spirits of Christmas" which are lit up around the second week of November. 

2. Oxford Street
- Always the first one to be lit up, Oxford Street officially welcomes Christmas in London, in my opinion that is. It's my least favourite street in London because of the crazy amount of people visiting the area (mainly for shopping), but I would definitely visit for the lights.

3. Carnaby Street
- When I lived and worked in Central London, I thoroughly enjoyed my early morning walks along Carnaby Street, more so during Christmas time when the street is adorned with beautiful light displays and unique decorations. Last year's "Kaleidoscope" theme was my favourite because of the fluttering butterflies. 

4. Covent Garden
- You will find London's biggest Christmas tree in the heart of Covent Garden. Apparently, the hand-picked Christmas tree will be even bigger this year, so I cannot wait to see it when it's up and lights are switched on. But apart from the iconic Christmas tree, I also love their giant Christmas baubles and mirror balls.

5. Coventry Street
- The last six Christmases, I looked forward to the Christms lights in Coventry Street. They may not be as magnificent as the rest of the Christmas Lights on my list, but this was local to us, hence it was and still is very special to me. 

6. Bond Street
- For the last three years at least, Bond Street was adorned with peacock details. This year, I read that we will be treated with display inspired by the The Crown Jewels. I cannot wait to see the display when it's finally lit.

7. Seven Dials
- Also in Covent Garden, you will find the Christmas lights in Seven Dials. The theme is the last few years has been festive woodlands.

8. Fortnum and Mason
- Fortnum's advent calendar Christmas display will always be my favourite. But it's not only the giant advent calendar that I look forward to each year, but also the shop windows that are adorned with moving ornaments. They are simply magnificent to watch.

9. South Molton Street
- Just off Oxford Street (on Mayfair side) is South Molton Street where the blue-lit triangular archways are found. 

10. Annabel's- 46 Berkeley Square
- Annabel's facade is always spectacular, with their theme changing every season. But it is at Christmas time when the most extravagant facade in London is probably at its best. The last few years that I have been visiting the building, I have seen a giant gingerbread house, candy canes, swans, ballerinas, Santa Claus and even the Three Kings. And yes, last year they teamed up with Swarovski, and apparently the facade was dusted with crystals, but why not?

11. St James's
- The Christmas tree in St James's may not be as big as the one in Covent Garden, but it is my favourite because it is simple yet elegant. I always look forward to seeing this tree lit up every year because it brings me so much joy. 

12. New Bond Street
- Most, if not all shops in London adorn their windows with Christmas ornaments, however it is the Cartier flagship store in New Bond Street that people (mostly influencers) are obsessed with, and I don't blame them because it is truly dazzling.

13. Burlington Arcade
- Maybe I should have written a "Walking Christmas Light Tour" instead on second thought as most of the locations on my list are close to one another and are within walking distance form each other. Anyway, a few steps away from Cartier is the Burlington Arcade. They, too put on a spectacular Christmas display, and for some reason I often feel cosy walking through the arcade not just at Christmas, but all throughout the winter.

There are of course many other beautiful Christmas displays in London, however I am not so keen on walking around in the winter, hence I focused on the areas that are within 15- minutes walk from where we used to live. It just so happened that we lived conveniently near Piccadilly Circus for over six years, that's why I was motivated to see the lights.

Apparently, we will be seeing some changes in this year's displays and also, the lights will be turned on for a shorter period of time this year to save energy.

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