I could get used to this

It’s my third day as an intern at Cosmopolitan Singapore, and I’ve pretty much figured out my daily routine.

5.30am: Wake up
6am: Travel to the swimming complex
6.30am: Swim
7.30am: Travel home
8am: Prepare to go to work
8.30am: Set off for the office
9am – 6pm: Work
6.30pm: Reach home
7pm: Dinner
10pm: Lights out

I know. It’s the control freak in me. I need routine, I need structure, I need control. That feeling of letting go and cutting yourself some slack? Freaks me out. As long as I have a standard daily schedule, which involves (most importantly) my morning swim, I’m a happy girl ready to take on whatever faces me at work.

And work. Here we are, at last, one foot in the industry I’ve wanted to be a part of since I was 17 and was advised to start thinking about my future. And Cosmopolitan is one of my favourite magazines – along with Glamour and CLEO – so where better to work than here?

Day One of my internship was almost crushingly dull, since I was just expected to read past issues of the magazine as well as the Cosmo blog to familiarise myself with the writing style. But since I’m a regular reader of the magazine and the blog, I found myself re-reading old articles. Which was fine, I suppose, since I can’t expect much of my first day. I’d just been building up all this anticipation in me. There are two other interns – W, who’s been around for three weeks, and S, who started a day before me – as well as a new beauty writer C, who started a day before me too. Good thing I’m not the only newbie around because in this environment full of smart and beautiful go-getting women, it can seem a little daunting at times.

Day Two got better, since I was tasked to write the Cosmo Weekend Guide, a weekly section on the Cosmo blog that recommends places to eat, drink and play for the weekend. I was given a quick tutorial on editorials, advertorials and advertisements, too, and gained access to the interns’ shared email, which I studied to understand the sort of events Cosmo gets invited to and the products she has access to and is asked to write about. There are hair product launches, wine and food tastings, Kenzo perfume testings, clothe-sourcings (for the fashion interns – sadly, I can’t go along since I’m an editorial intern), and on and on. The fashion interns are out every afternoon to go sourcing for clothings that fit a theme the fashion editor sets. Then they come back (with bags and bags of borrowed clothings) and review the clothings, look for images of celebrities wearing a certain trend.

Since Cosmo’s office is shared with other Singapore Press Holdings magazines like Harper’s Bazaar, CLEO, Shape, and the like, I get to experience not just what it’s like in Cosmo, but also these other magazines. Yeah, no earth-shattering revelations, since everyone’s just busy at work in their cubby-holes, but I can hear the conversations amongst Harper’s Bazaar writers (HB is right next to Cosmo), and boy are they an energetic bunch.

Tomorrow, I have to attend a hair product launch at Swissotel the Stamford at 10am, in place of the editorial assistant. I know this industry isn’t all glitz and glamour – I mean, sure, they get beauty product samples and go for tastings and meet pretty people occasionally, but some of them work long hours and are always rushing everywhere for this event and that and sometimes have to eat lunch at their desks – but this is what I’ve always wanted (apart, of course, from being a full-time author) and this is what I signed up for, so I’d just like to say: this is the start of something good.

In other news, I’ve met up with my editor, Geraldine, who’s going to work with me on my manuscript LAMBS FOR DINNER all the way till publication in December. It’s planned to hit the shelves in January next year, if all goes well. I’ll post more details about it as we go along! And a big thank you to those who’ve messaged me regarding this! I appreciate your support. Basically, for now, what might change is the title, since Geraldine thought the link between the story and the title is a little tenuous. I just need to clean up my manuscript and submit the draft by the end of this month, then send it to Straits Times Press for further editing. Given my packed schedule now, though, with driving lessons and the tuition lessons I’m giving on weekends, I can only squeeze in pockets of time for editing while I’m on the bus home or to and from the pool. Still, I can’t complain. This is everything I’ve ever wanted.

Yesterday and today morning, I went for my morning swim earlier than I’ve ever been. I used to swim at 8am, but because of work I have to swim earlier (I don’t like swimming in the evenings because the water’s too warm for comfort and because the pool is packed). And between 6.30am and 7.30am, that’s when day breaks. I start out when the stars are still hanging in the sky, and I can still see the full moon and Venus, the morning star, and Mercury, steady and constant – and by the time I’m done with my 40 laps, the sky is a gentle shade of pink and orange. The air is cool and crisp, and it’s simple beautiful moments like these that make me so thankful I can enjoy all this.

Like I said, give me my morning swim and I’m a happy girl.