Daily Diary Prelude – How 2016 Went

It’s a new year again!

My New Year Resolution last year was one of the simplest – to make time and save time, for those who matter in my live. Secondly, to focus on myself, after having focused on my brothers’ weddings for the past 4 years.

So how did it go?

(At least) 30 Trips to the Airport

A huge part of 2016 was spent going to and fro Changi Airport, sending off and welcoming back my loved ones. I’ve often been told that it’s a hassle, that I really didn’t need to make the trips. But I believe that if 2014 taught us anything, it was to make your decisions count. What if it was my last chance to say goodbye? How much time do I really save, not going to send off my loved ones? I’m glad I stuck to my principle on this.

trips-to-changi-airport-2016

Appreciating Life by Myself

As my parents approach the age to enjoy life together once again and my brothers having their own families to look after, I find myself having more time for myself. That means appreciating the little things that make me happy, and challenging myself to try new and learn new stuff.

learning-new-things-2016

1st row – Assembling a miniature bar lounge, learning to roll marshmallow fondant, trying out Eyes Cream at the newly-renovated Compass One, forcing myself to get back to swimming after 15 years or so.

2nd row – Sculpting with Play dough, eye-opening video shoot of some elites, sewing mitered corners for fabric, trying out the horrible Blackball Taiwan.

3rd row – Sewing my first complete doll-sized pinafore, making my own DSLR for my miniature house, trying Maki-san for the first time (and LOVING it), two relatively successful attempts at DIY-ing Churros (Plain and then pandan-flavored)

I think turning 25 has been more significant than turning 18. I started to feel more at ease and willing to try new things, even if it means scaring the hell out of me. One lesson I learnt that’s worth bringing into 2017, is that exploration isn’t about trying too hard. Appreciating life can be about the little things, the small challenges you set for yourself.

Baby steps, they call it.

Taking Better Care of Myself

The first half of 2016 was a nightmare for my health – one bad tooth and one unethical dentist, and voila, 2 weeks without sleep coupled with 16 extra strong Panadol tablets. Only managed to fix the problem after changing to the third dentist, who fixed it within 3 minutes – extraction.

And as my parents were enjoying holidays overseas, I was spending a lot of time by myself. I was getting tired of eating out, and starting to spend a lot more time in the kitchen, pretty much like the days when I was studying overseas.

cooking-for-myself

Because of some health reasons, I ate a lot of seaweed, those unflavored ones for making maki. Then I went on to cook soup, eggrolls, among other things. Sometimes taking more time to prepare your own food makes you aware of what you’re eating, other times, you learn to be more appreciative and mindful of the expenses incurred when you eat out.

One of the best and possibly worst habit I developed was making maki and to eat them while I start working at my desk. Time-saving, but most likely bad for health!

Reconnections

I’m sure many people my age have been through this – after making tons of friends while schooling, you get to a point where you start subtracting people from your life.

Maybe your lives are different and you don’t have anything in common to talk about anymore. Maybe you have different ideals and priorities. Maybe there’s too much drama or too little appreciation from people in your life. Maybe because you’re trying to move on and start on a clean slate, and focus on the present.

Whatever the reason, I feel like I’m over it. 2016 was a lot about reconnecting with buddies I’ve lost touch with. People from secondary school, friends of my religion, and people who used to mean a lot to me.

reconnection

I guess life is always about additions and subtractions. You add more people and things to your life, and at a tipping point, you start subtracting those who chose not to be part of your life. Then when you feel like you’ve saved the best and the most important, you start reconnecting with those who may, at THAT point in time, now have a common topic with you.

Being 25 also means forgetting a lot of grudges and losing a lot of that angst and insecurity. You start to be more forgiving when it comes to the elders, and friendlier towards the juniors. You learn to make friends from a professional level, respecting differences, embracing the common threads and ultimately, keeping a slight distance to prevent unnecessary drama/conflict.

One of the biggest concluding human relations lesson in 2016 happened in its final week, when I lost a religion senior. He was a great and pure soul, but many people did not understand why I felt so strongly about his demise.

See, back in primary school, we were praying together every Sunday. Back then, I had a lot of worries and insecurities, but didn’t really have anyone to talk to. But his wife was one of the few who spent hours talking to me.

I remember telling her that I felt helpless in schoolwork, that I didn’t know where my life was headed, or worse, if I even have a future, as I was doing so much poorer academically compared to my brothers. I remember spending time on my own, lost in my own thoughts, not telling anyone how I felt, and before I know it, the night has fallen.

She told me that that wasn’t okay. She encouraged me, and made me talk about things that worried me. She pointed out where she thought I was great, my strengths and how I am “good enough for the society”. The conversations were private, casual but they opened my heart to become who I am today and I’m ever so grateful.

Unlike my previous loss, this time I had the chance to do him some good. To hold his hands, to make him smile. To give him one little gift that meant more to him than many other things. It was my first time seeing him in years, and also my last. But I have no regrets. Because, I lived it, I made full use of the chance I had.

The Big Projects

Of course 2016 hasn’t been just a bed of roses. I helped some seemingly innocent people and was backstabbed rather ruthlessly. Am I upset? Yeah. Am I angry? Yeah.

The outcome was horrible, but I made GREAT friends during the journey. I learnt new things and as it turns out, they are going to be even greater help and resources for me this coming year. For that, I’m grateful and contented!

Daily Diary 2017

This sharing is 3 days late but here’s what I’m going to try and do in 2017 –

I’m going to make every single day count. I’m going to share as much as I can in the “Daily Diary” section.

For my New Year Resolutions this year, I am going to be fearless and positive. I want to bring to life the plans I’ve been preparing for the past 5 years.

Let 2017 be the year of reaping rewards.

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